Mumbai face Kolkata's spin challenge: Match preview
Having managed to keep their campaign alive with a win against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their last game, the Mumbai Indians (MI) will have their task cut out as they take on the spin trio of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday.
May 06, 2018
16:00 hours IST
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
With just three wins from nine matches, Mumbai have no room for error. Even though they managed to keep Punjab under control for most part of their bowling innings, their death bowling remains a concern. The last three overs went for 39 runs and has been a major reason behind their failure to close out matches.
Batsmen also seem to have figured out Mayank Markrande, who wreaked havoc in the first half of the tournament. In his last three games, Markrande has gone for 87 runs off nine overs and has only picked up two wickets. Bowling against the likes of Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik is no easy task and Markrande will be key to keeping Mumbai’s campaign alive.
Kolkata, on the other hand, will be high on confidence after their victory against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their last game. What made the victory better was Shubman Gill’s maiden IPL fifty. He bailed the team out of troubled waters and forged a solid partnership with skipper Dinesh Karthik to take his team to victory.
Mitchell Johnson’s woeful form continues to be a worry for them and the pacer might well have played his last game. He has picked up two wickets at an average of 95.5 and has gone at an economy rate of 10.61 runs per over. Even though Tom Curran has gone for 11.86 runs per over this season, it might make sense to bring him back and give him another chance.
The key challenge for Mumbai will be to handle the Kolkata spinners. In their last game, the trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla picked up five for 89 from their 12 overs. Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav might have to take the onus upon themselves to get on top of these spinners.
Mumbai have the edge over Kolkata, having beaten them in their previous five encounters. The fact that they have nothing to lose and they will be playing at home will make them even more dangerous. Dinesh Karthik has been tremendous in his maiden season as captain and will no doubt be determined to change that record.
Expect an unchanged XI from Mumbai.
Mumbai Indians - Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Krunal Pandya, JP Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markrande
Tom Curran should come in for Mitchell Johnson while Nitish Rana could slot back in for Rinku Singh, if fit.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana/Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav
- In his last six matches, Dinesh Karthik has had strike rates of 190.0, 182.6, 153.6, 100.0, 230.0, 250.0
- Piyush Chawla became the first bowler to take 50 plus wickets for two IPL teams. He has 84 wickets for KXIP and 50 now for KKR
- Rohit Sharma became the first Indian to hit 300 sixes in T20 cricket and the seventh overall to achieve this feat
© Cricket World 2018