Just over a month down the line, Cummins and Venkatesh, lacking form, find themselves out of Knight Riders' XI. Rasikh Salam and Tymal Mills are out of the competition
. Both teams are staring at a league-stage exit with eight and seven losses respectively, even though mathematical possibilities remain for Knight Riders.
The two teams have taken contrasting routes to their positions of strife. Mumbai have lost the fewest powerplay wickets of any team in IPL 2022 (12), and Knight Riders the most
(23). They have tried five opening combinations, without much success, and their run-rate of 6.53 is the lowest of all teams in the powerplay
, while Mumbai are among the top four fastest starters this season at 7.91 runs per over.
In the middle overs, however, Knight Riders have achieved the best run rate among all teams
(8.97), while Mumbai rank bottom at 7.42. Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum alluded to this
after their loss against Lucknow Super Giants when he said, "We've been good throughout the middle phase, not too bad at the death, but the powerplay, we've been a little stuck."
Mumbai, whose campaign got off to a disastrous start with eight successive losses, have finally managed to put together what seems like a balanced bowling attack with two spinners and three seamers to go with the part-time medium-pace of Kieron Pollard. With Sams managing to turn his season around
, Mumbai look set to deliver the final blow to Knight Riders' playoffs chances.
However, the five-time champions have managed the second-worst economy rate
(9.04) of all teams in the middle overs, which Knight Riders could look to exploit, provided they get through the powerplay relatively unscathed.
missed Knight Riders' last clash after pulling his calf-muscle. Umesh's eight wickets in the powerplay are still the joint-second-most
this season but there's no word yet on his availability.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 B Indrajith (wk), 2 Aaron Finch/Sam Billings, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Rinku Singh, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Anukul Roy, 8 Shivam Mavi/Venkatesh Iyer, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Harshit Rana/Umesh Yadav
Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Tilak Varma, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Tim David, 7 Daniel Sams, 8 M Ashwin/Hrithik Shokeen, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kumar Kartikeya, 11 Riley Meredith