RESULT
14th Match (N), Pune, April 06, 2022, Indian Premier League
(16/20 ov, T:162) 162/5

KKR won by 5 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)

Preview

Suryakumar, Cummins add spice to a lopsided Mumbai-KKR rivalry

Mumbai are coming off two losses in two games and will be keen to get off the mark against in-form KKR

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
05-Apr-2022

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Over time, Mumbai Indians have made it a habit. Starting slowly, before revving up as mid-season approaches and then pouncing on teams at the back end. They have started poorly this time as well, but the margin for error could be smaller in a 10-team pool. Therefore, they need to get up and running quickly. There's just one problem. They're going up against IPL 2021's runners-up Kolkata Knight Riders, whose firebrand approach to batting, has lent a dazzling touch to the season so far.
In both their losses so far, Mumbai have failed to capitalise on their batters putting them in strong positions. Against Delhi Capitals, both Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan struck half-centuries in a robust opening stand to set up the game, but the middle order came a cropper. Against Rajasthan Royals, they couldn't close the game out despite going into the final six overs needing 65 runs with seven wickets in hand.
Mumbai also have concerns over one bowling spot, currently occupied by Basil Thampi. In the opening game, Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel took him to the cleaners. In the second, he was carted for 26 in his only over. It might be time for a change. There's plenty of experience in the form of Jaydev Unadkat, but the only hitch is he's nearly like-for-like to Tymal Mills, in terms of his slower variations and left-arm variety.
Knight Riders have unlocked magic from Umesh Yadav. Throw Pat Cummins into the mix and their pace attack looks mean. Their spinners are always bound to ask interesting questions, provided there isn't too much dew around.
So far with the bat, the Knight Riders have expressed their desire to play an aggressive brand of T20 cricket. It can look spectacular, like when Andre Russell went after Punjab Kings in a small chase, or fall flat, like when they got bundled out by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Going forward, they will expect a lot more from the likes of Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane.

In the news

Cummins has completed his mandatory three-day quarantine upon arrival and even trained with the team on match eve, which means he is all set to take Sam Billings' place in the Knight Riders XI. This means the wicketkeeper's slot will be taken up once again by Sheldon Jackson, whose glovework has been impressive. Sunil Narine, Russell, and Tim Southee are likely to take up the other overseas slots.
Mumbai have their entire complement of players to choose from. It remains to be seen if they will finally unleash Suryakumar Yadav, who has only just recovered from a wrist injury. If he is able to handle to workload of batting in the IPL, Mumbai will likely pick him in place of Anmolpreet Singh.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav/Anmolpreet Singh, 4 Tilak Varma, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Tim David, 7 Daniel Sams, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Tymal Mills, 10 Jaydev Unadkat/Basil Thampi, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Sheldon Jackson, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Varun Chakravarthy

Strategy Punt

Cummins vs Kishan: three innings, five balls, three wickets. Rohit vs Narine: 18 innings, seven dismissals, average 19.6. How can anyone ignore stats like that? The Knight Riders just have to open with Cummins and Narine to try and take on Mumbai's in-form batters. More so because Rohit, who has started this IPL differently - striking at 147 off his first 10 balls, will immediately be face-to-face with the bowler who has dismissed him the most times in the IPL.

Stats and trivia

  • Since IPL 2018, teams winning the toss have opted to bowl every single time at MCA Stadium in Pune. But there's no significant difference in terms of results as teams batting first and second have won four games each.
  • In 16 IPL games here, pacers have picked up 3.8 wickets per innings as compared to spinners, who have managed just 1.6. Spinners have been fractionally more economical, though, conceding at 8.3 an over to the 8.6 by pacers.
  • This has been a lopsided IPL rivalry so far. Mumbai's win percentage of 75.8% is the highest win percentage for a team against an opponent in all IPL.
  • Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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