The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face the Mumbai Indians (MI) in game number 14 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. Kolkata have been impressive so far, with just one loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the three games. They came up with a good all-round show to get the better of the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their previous match. Former champions Mumbai are still searching for their first win in IPL 2022. They lost opportunities to win against the Delhi Capitals (DC), and the might of Rajasthan Royals (RR) was too good for them in their second game. Here are five player battles to watch out for in KKR vs MI clash.
1. Ishan Kishan vs Umesh Yadav: Even as MI have not looked in any great rhythm, young opener Ishan Kishan has been in fantastic form. He cracked an unbeaten 81 off 48 against DC and followed it up with another fifty against Rajasthan. He will look to get the team off to a flyer again. It won’t be an easy task against Umesh Yadav though. The KKR pacer has come into the competition with renewed energy and a massive point to prove. He has been next to unplayable at the start with his pace and movement. Knowing the weaknesses in MI line-up, Yadav looks to send back the in-form Ishan early.
2. Venkatesh Iyer vs Jasprit Bumrah: Venkatesh Iyer has not been in great form in the IPL 2022 so far. On the contrary, he has looked completely out of sorts and has been dismissed cheaply in all three games so far. Iyer has been unconvincing with his stroke play so far, but it is a matter of only one match before he regains confidence. The contest against MI will be a good opportunity for him to try and achieve the same. At the start of the innings, he will face a tough opponent in Jasprit Bumrah. After a poor first game, Bumrah came roaring back against RR. Dislodging Iyer early could be on his plan on Wednesday.
3. Tilak Varma vs Sunil Narine: There was a lot of talk about young MI batter Tilak Varma being an exceptional talent. In the two games he has played so far, the youngster has showed that there is definitely something about him. After a cameo against DC, he went one step ahead and smashed a fifty against RR, taking on the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin. Against KKR, Varma will be up against another quality spinner in Sunil Narine. The mystery spinner has been tough to crack even this season. Varma will start second best against the West Indian due to lack of experience. Can he find a method to attack Narine?
4. Shreyas Iyer vs Murugan Ashwin: KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer’s struggles against leg-spin are well-documented. And the initial matches of IPL 2022 have only given further proof of the same. He fell trying to take on Wanindu Hasaranga against RCB and perished to Rahul Chahar against PBKS, again going for the big shot. Murugan Ashwin may not be in the same league as Hasaranga and Chahar, but he has definitely got some skills with the ball. M Ash has done reasonably well so far and will look to prey on Iyer’s weakness.
5. Andre Russell vs Tymal Mills: KKR big-hitter Andre Russell was absolutely brilliant in the game against PBKS. After the team lost some early wickets in a chase, he lifted them to victory with some typically aggressive stroke play. He will be keen to carry on his good work against MI as well. At the death, apart from Bumrah, left-arm seamer Tymal Mills will also have a key role to play. He has got the yorker-length balls to stop the carnage. The question is – can he get it right if Russell is on a rampage?