Match: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders (MI vs KKR)
Date:October 16, 2020
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Mumbai Indians started IPL 2020 with a loss against Chennai Super Kings, but they have been clinical after that and currently have 10 points after 7 games. Their batsmen are in supreme form, with Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard in great form. The Mumbai Indians bowlers too are in dangerous form, with the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, James Pattinson and Trent Boult wreaking havoc.
Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, will come in the game on the back of a huge 82-run loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The unit, despite having some of the biggest match-winners, have been unable to click together as a unit. The batting has been inconsistent, while the bowling attack is prone to leaking runs. They have made some bizarre selection choices as well. They have four wins from seven games but are yet to play to their full potential.
The weather in Abu Dhabi will be hot and humid, with temperatures touching the 40-degree mark.
The ground in Abu Dhabi offers great balance between bat and ball. The track will get slower as the match progresses.
Earlier, the teams that won the toss were eager to chase at the venue, but the wicket has become slower of late. Batting first will be the preferred option.
MI Expected XI and Team News
Mumbai Indians were ruthless in their last game and there is no reason to change the XI. Rohit Sharma has shied away from making many changes to his team, and the same is likely to continue.
Rohit Sharma: The Mumbai Indians skipper had smashed a fine fifty when his team had met KKR earlier in the tournament. He is one of the most dangerous white-ball cricketers, and will want to lead from the front.
Suryakumar Yadav: The middle order cricketer is in good touch and was in great form against Delhi. He has played aggressively and will be a threat to the rivals.
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jaspirt Bumrah, Rahul Chahar
KKR Expected XI and Team News
Kolkata Knight Riders have struggled to make the right team selections, and we could expect them to make a few against Mumbai Indians. Lockie Ferguson might replace Tom Banton in the team. If the deck is dry, Chris Green can be given a look in.
Eoin Morgan: The English skipper has played a few good cameos in this IPL but is yet to get a big knock. Against a tough opponent, Morgan is expected to lead the charge.
Andre Russell: The West Indian has been contributing with the ball but has been a big disappointment with the bat thus far. He is a dangerous player on his day and should be backed to come good sooner than later.
Shubhman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (C/wk), Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthi, Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Head to head record of MI vs KKR:
Mumbai have a huge advantage against KKR as far as the head to head record is concerned. M have won a total of 20 games against the rivals, with Kolkata winning just 6. Mumbai had gotten the better of Kolkata when the two teams had earlier met in this edition.
MPL Fantasy Prediction for MI vs KKR:
WK: Quinton de Kock has returned to form and is a must-pick in the MPL fantasy team. He opens the batting and is expected to have a greater impact on the game than Dinesh Karthik, who bats lower down the order.
Batsmen: Eoin Morgan has been playing quick cameos of late and he will be eager to get a move on and get a big knock. Nitish Rana has been inconsistent but scored a fifty a few games ago, which should give him confidence. Rohit Sharma had scored 80+ against KKR when the two teams had met this season, while Suryakumar Yadav has a couple of big knocks in his name. He is an aggressor and can run away with the game if he gets his eye in.
All-rounders: The two West Indians will be eager to outdo each other in a crucial game. Andre Russell has been vital with the ball for KKR at the death but has been disappointing with the bat. He is an excellent player, however, and can be backed to come good. Kieron Pollard has been in fine touch with the bat, playing a number of match-winning knocks, and can be handy with the ball as well.
Bowlers: Prasidh Krishna has been economical and can turn the speeds up in the death overs. Varun Chakrabarthy has been the key in the middle overs for KKR, and conceded just 25 runs off his 4 overs in the last game. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have formed a formidable pair for Mumbai Indians, and it will be tough to navigate them.
Captain and VC: Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell
Match Prediction for MI vs KKR:
Mumbai Indians are the in-form team while KKR have struggled thus far. Though they have four wins to their name – one less than Mumbai, Kolkata have not been at their best. MI also have a huge advantage in the head to head encounters, which tilts the advantage heavily in favour of the Rohit Sharma-led team.
Mumbai Indians are the firm favourites to win.
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