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KKR vs MI, IPL 2021 Talking Points: Epic choke as KKR fail to break Mumbai jinx

Brief Scores: 153 (Yadav 56, Rohit 43, Russell 5-15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142 for 7 (Rana 57, Gill 33, Chahar 4-27) by 10 runs

Kolkata Knight Riders succumbed from a winning position as they went down to Mumbai Indians by 10 runs. After restricting the Mumbai side to only 153 all out, with Pat Cummins and Andre Russell firing with the ball, the KKR unit began with intent. Opener Nitish Rana smashed his second successive fifty with Shubman Gill playing a good hand of 33, and were looking to finally get a win against Mumbai Indians when they needed 31 off the last 5 overs with 6 wickets in hand. 

Also Read: What is Fantasy Cricket and how to play it on MPL?

However, some wonderful bowling from Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Krunal Pandya meant that KKR scored only 20 runs in the next 5 overs for the loss of 3 wickets. Andre Russell, who starred with a five wicket haul in the first innings, struggled to time the ball as he scored 9 in 15 deliveries with the help of two reprieve. KKR have now lost only one of the last 14 matches against Mumbai Indians – a jinx that is seemingly looking impossible to break for Eoin Morgan’s team. 

Here are the talking points from the match: 

KKR nailed the match ups in the first innings 

Eoin Morgan, Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper, has always been a firm believer in match ups and playing according to the situation of the game. This tactic has been highly successful for England, and he has brought the same idea into the IPL as well, where he is guided by Nathan Leamon, England’s national analyst. Against Mumbai, Morgan made all the right moves as he opened with spin, with KKR’s bowlers sending down 5 overs of spin in the powerplay overs against Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock – two batters who are not the best against slower deliveries. 

Suryakumar’s struggles against slow left arm bowling was exploited as Morgan brought on Shakib Al Hasan, who picked up the wicket of the number three Mumbai batter. Overall, it was his seventh dismissal to a slow left arm bowler in the IPL. Sending pace against Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya worked wonders as well, as all four were dismissed by the pacers. Keeping Pat Cummins for the middle overs and managing Andre Russell’s workload by keeping him for two overs at the death paid off as well, and though KKR failed to get over the line, they will take heart in the fact that most of their tactics worked and they were the better team for 35 overs. 

Prasidh Krishna over Kamlesh Nagarkoti or Shivam Mavi? 

Prasidh Krishna made his Indian debut last month against England, but there is no doubt that the pacer needs to work hard on his game. He had been praised lavishly by skipper Virat Kohli, but he is yet to live up to his reputation in the Indian Premier League. Overall, in 26 matches, the 25-year old has an economy rate of 9.35 and picks up only 0.80 wickets a game. 

Against Mumbai, Krishna gave away 42 runs in his 4 overs – the highest by any bowler from both teams. The fact that the second most expensive spell was 28 runs in 4 overs by Jasprit Bumrah is evidence of how expensive he was. He was all over the place as far as line and lengths were concerned, and the fact that KKR have two talented players in Kamlesh Nagarkori and Shivam Mavi in the wings means that Krishna might warm the benches sooner than later. 

Pat Cummins is the real MVP 

Though Andre Russell returned with a five wicket haul, it was Pat Cummins who stole the show with his spell of 2 for 24 in the middle overs. He has relied on banging the ball between good and short lengths and has varied his pace brilliantly. The sticky wicket here and the bounce that he gets due to his height has further made him lethal when he is bowling the good length deliveries, in particular. 

Against SRH, Cummins had given away 1 for 30 and has given teams a lesson on how to bowl at Chennai. 

Are Mumbai Indians holding back Jasprit Bumrah too late? 

Mumbai Indians exploited the form of Trent Boult perfectly last year, which allowed them to reserve Jasprit Bumrah for the death overs. However, with Boult not at his peak yet, the ploy to not go to Bumrah more in the first 10 overs has been baffling. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, the need of the hour was quick wickets as they were defending only 153 runs. However, Rohit Sharma gave the ball to Bumrah just once in the first 10 overs, which allowed KKR to get a good partnership and come close to the target. 

Though holding back Bumrah eventually paid off against the Knights, as they struggled to score 31 in the last 5 overs, the match would have been all but over if the middle order of KKR had batted cautiously and not played unnecessary strokes. However, if the match would have been won by the Knights, there would have been a huge question mark over why Bumrah was held back – just like he was against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League opener last Friday. 

In that game, RCB, chasing 160 for a win, were on the front foot after Glenn Maxwell rescued the innings. RCB had lost quick wickets, which would have been the ideal situation for Bumrah to come in and tighten the screw, but by holding him back and letting Maxwell get his eye in, the team’s tactic failed, as Mumbai eventually lost the game.

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