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KKR vs MI IPL 2021 Preview: Mumbai Express set to accelerate against well-organised KKR after slow start

Rohit Sharma captain of Mumbai Indians speaks to team member
Rohit Sharma captain of Mumbai Indians speaks to team member
©BCCI/IPL
 

All through IPL 2020, Kolkata Knight Riders managed just one half-century opening partnership. In their season opener of IPL 2021 itself, Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill added 53. 

LIVE - KKR vs MI IPL 2021



Shakib ahead of Narine

KKR decided to open with Rana instead of Rahul Tripathi in the first match. Rana had just opened for KKR on six previous occasions. The team made another surprise move of picking Shakib Al Hasan ahead of Sunil Narine.

Shakib did a decent job, giving away runs at 8.50 while picking up one wicket from his four overs. Unless Shakib is in great form with the bat, Narine should reclaim his spot sooner or later. Harbhajan Singh was also part of the playing XI and bowled just one over, but looked good. 

Rana, Tripathi shine with bat, Krishna will ball

Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi were the most impressive batsmen for KKR. Rana made 88 off 56 balls while Tripathi contributed with 53 off 29 balls to guide KKR to a 180+ total. Dinesh Kartik did what he does best, smashing 22 off just 9 deliveries.

Andre Russell may have failed with the bat but he came to the party with the ball. A much fitter Russell picked up one wicket but it was his death following which stood out. Prasidh Krishna was the pick of the KKR bowling, finishing with figures of 4-0-35-2 with crucial scalps of David Warner and Mohammad Nabi.

Now that MI's complementary defeat is out of the way

While KKR won their first match by 10 runs, Mumbai Indians kept up with their tradition of losing the season opener as they suffered a two-wicket defeat to RCB on the last ball of the match.

It is surprising that despite being the most successful franchise in the history of the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians have never won their first match of the season. However, as MI captain Rohit Sharma rightly pointed out in the post match presentation, it is more important to win tournaments than to win the first match. Hard to argue with the logic!

Quinton de Kock back after quarantine?

Chris Lynn opened the batting for Mumbai in the season opener with Quinton de Kock serving a quarantine after having flown in from South Africa midway during an international series against Pakistan.

If de Kock is match ready, there is little doubt that he will open the batting along with Rohit Sharma in place of Chris Lynn, who was the top scorer for Mumbai Indians in the last match with a 35-ball 49. If not, Lynn will get one more game. Lanky pacer Marco Jansen impressed on debut for MI and will keep his spot in the playing XI.

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Predictions

Top Batsman - Runs Scored - Rohit Sharma (MI), Rahul Tripathi (KKR)

Top Bowler - Wickets Taken - Jasprit Bumrah (MI), Shakib Al Hasan (KKR)

Most Sixes - Hardik Pandya (MI), Andre Russell (KKR)

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Here are the predicted playing XIs:

Mumbai Indians
- Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock/Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Marco Jansen, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah 

Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy

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