Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will start their 2020 campaign against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on September 23, Wednesday. Though both the teams are based in Abu Dhabi, this will be a home game for KKR. On the other hand, MI are coming into this contest after losing their opening game against Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai have had the wood over KKR in recent times, however, this is a new season and Kolkata are a different outfit then last year having recruited experienced foreign players to beef up their middle order and the bowling attack.
Team Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians has been an enriching battle in recent times. Both teams hate losing to each other and players from both sides give it their all. KKR made some smart buys at the IPL 2020 auction. They bought Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Tom Banton with key roles specified for every player. While Banton was a like for like replacement for Chris Lynn, whom they released ahead of the auction, Morgan and Cummins will just add to the team with their experience. The inclusion of Morga has been made keeping in mind, the KKR middle-order. Morgan, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell form a strong middle-order for KKR and is certainly among the best this season.
They also have their spin attack covered wit Kuldeep Yadav partnering Sunil Narine. They have also added mystery spinner Varun Chakravarty in their ranks as well. Cummins, Lockie Ferguson and Ali Khan are their foreign pacers, with plenty of T20 experience on their backs.
While their batting and spin attack looks sorted, KKR’s inexperienced Indian seamers is a sign of concern. Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti were not part of the KKR outfit last year and ar making a comeback of sorts. Prasidh Krishna, who was the lone Indian pacer in the attack, proved to be costly and was wayward as well. However, the franchise has backed the youngster giving him another season to prove his potential. thus have a pretty settled playing XI with Sunil Narine opening with Shubman Gill. Nitish Rana will bat at number three and then the strong middle-order of Karthik, Morgan and Russell takes over. The trio can bat according to the match situation and the given conditions.
This leaves them with six bowling options with Cummins, Kuldeep a certainty in the line-up. Mavi and Nagarkoti can be the pacers or one can be replaced with a spinner.
Team Mumbai Indians
In this Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians contest, MI’s big three have to come to the fore with the bat. Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard got out cheaply against CSK. Against KKR however, all these three batsmen have a good record in the past which they will bank upon. Rohit even has a century and a 98* against KKR, who is one of his favorite oppositions with the bat.
MI will not like to tinker with their bowling attack. Their new recruits James Pattinson and Trent Boult got wickets in their very first over last game. Jasprit Bumrah has been Rohit’s go-to man for a long time now. Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar will be the team’s spinning options.
Head to Head- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians
Mumbai are way ahead in the head to head contest between the two teams. The tally reads 19-6 in favour of Rohit Sharma’s team. Importantly in the last 10 meetings between these two teams, Mumbai have won nine games, while KKR, just won one. MI is among one of the two teams to have beaten KKR, the most number of times.
Weather And Pitch Conditions
Temperatures will be in the higher 30’s throughout the contest and if the first game between the two teams was anything to go by, dew will play its part in the second innings. Thus its very clear that the captain who wins the toss will prefer chasing in this ground which has bigger dimensions.
Team News- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians
Lasith Malinga will continue remaining absent for the defending champions. Other than that there are no injury concerns as of now in the team. For KKR, Andre Russell is fit and ready to go, but with his history with niggles, he will need to be careful about his fitness as well.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (C) Andre Russell, Ali Khan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Chris Green, Eoin Morgan, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Praveen Tambe, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton, Varun Chakravarthy
Rohit Sharma (C)Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McCleneghan, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Digvijay Deshmukh, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Saurabh Tiwary
Also Read: Who is KKR’s New Recuit Ali Khan?