The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season sees match number 34 being played between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Sixth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders face a crunch task after getting off to winning ways in the second phase. They hammered RCB by nine wickets in Abu Dhabi on Monday. On the other hand, fourth-placed MI were trounced by CSK in their first match in the IPL 2021 second phase. MI will be aiming to bounce back in style.
MI had CSK under the wraps but conceded the match. They allowed CSK to run away and forge crucial partnerships before losing the plot with the bat. With Rohit Sharma set to return, MI get a much-needed boost. They will hope that the defeat to CSK was a one-time show. The champions have superb depth and a world-class bowling unit. However, with the bat, MI can have off days and KKR will be targeting the same.
Going into this match, KKR need to build on from the performance against RCB. Andre Russell was superb with the ball, claiming three wickets against RCB and his inputs will be crucial. Varun Chakravarthy impressed for the Knights with his mystery spin as Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna chipped in too. The two-time champions have a much severe task against MI and will have to be at their best once again. KKR are in a must-win scenario and expect them to come out firing.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
MI need to get the confidence back after a decent job in the first phase, besides playing a strong brand of cricket. Their last two performances before the CSK defeat were telling. MI have champion performers everywhere in the side and can change the momentum of games anytime during a match. They will be eyeing the perfect game against KKR and Rohit’s return can add to it significantly. It’s a different side with Rohit’s presence. Meanwhile, Adam Milne will continue to support Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The pace unit with these three can trouble KKR. Suryakumar Yadav, who has enjoyed batting against KKR, holds the key in the top-order.
KKR showed character in the match against RCB and if they fail to derive the maximum, MI will come hard and seal the proceedings. One expects KKR to go with the same XI without tinkering the side. It was good to see Russell promoted to number three, although he didn’t face a ball. KKR need to win big and handsomely, keeping the NRR in mind. If they can bowl well and keep MI under the mat, one can expect KKR to come out strong. Bowling will be the key here in Abu Dhabi and the better side will prevail. One needs to keep a focus on Venkatesh Iyer, who made his debut and sparkled alongside Shubman Gill.
Probable playing XIs: MI vs KKRMI probable playing XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
KKR probable playing XI:
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Suryakumar YadavAll-rounders: Andre Russell, Krunal PandyaBowlers: V Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)Batsmen: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Suryakumar YadavAll-rounders: Andre Russell, Krunal PandyaBowlers: V Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar.
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
In batting, the likes of Rohit and Shubman fit both teams. Rohit has an excellent record against KKR and his return could be a significant boost. Gill has shown enough character and maturity as a batsman for KKR and he has all the shot-making attributes to shine.
Russell and Krunal are the two experienced all-rounders. Russell was so lively and fresh with his bowling against RCB, mixing things up. He is dangerous with the bat. Meanwhile, Krunal will be important with his all-round abilities. His left-arm spin will be handy.
In the bowling department, Chakravarthy and Chahar are two important picks. Varun can get the important scalps and break partnerships. His mystery spin will be important. Meanwhile, Chahar has continued to impress for MI. These two are part of India’s WT20 squad.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Rohit Sharma: The senior MI batsman can turn the heat on and make his presence felt. Rohit will be aiming to make things count after missing the match against CSK. If MI are to do well and go ahead, Roht’s contributions will be immense.
Andre Russell: The all-rounder can turn the match with both ball and bat. His unplayable yorker to AB de Villiers is a testament of his significance. Russell can be promoted anywhere in the batting to spice up things. He is a special talent in T20.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Varun Chakravarthy and Chahar are the two top choices. Both bowlers can produce match-winning moments and steal the tie in pivotal phases of the game.
Other choices: Suryakumar and Gill.
Pitch report and conditions
The pitch will be two-paced and therefore both spinners and pacers will have purchase. Batsmen will target the 160-170 mark and teams could prefer chasing on this wicket. The temperature is said to be around 35 degree Celsius and with the dew factor in, toss will be crucial.
The average first innings score in the IPL has been 149 in the 2020 edition. The average second innings score has been 129.
The two teams have faced each other on 28 occasions. KKR have won just six matches, whereas, MI have sealed 22 wins.
MI have the edge certainly over KKR given their domination in the H2H tally. MI can bounce back and topple the Knights.