The Mumbai Indians (MI) will face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in game 56 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday. MI may already be out of the elimination race, but they will be keen to sign off on a high. They have won two games in a row now, and their come-from-behind triumph over the Gujarat Titans (GT) was spectacular. In contrast, Kolkata look like a shadow of the team that began the competition in such an impressive fashion. They were thrashed by the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 75 runs in their last match as they crumbled to 101 in a chase of 177. They have slipped to the ninth position in the points table, and their playoff hopes are all but over. Here are five player battles in MI vs KKR clash.
1. Rohit Sharma vs Tim Southee: MI skipper Rohit Sharma found some belated form in the match against Gujarat. He looked rather sublime and eased his way into the 40s before getting dismissed. Rohit prides on leading this Mumbai side; hence he will be keen to ensure that they finish the season on a high. He would be the first to admit that he has let the team down with the bat. Rohit would want to correct that as well with a big knock. One is unsure what kind of an attack KKR will put up, but Tim Southee will definitely be there. The experienced pacer has bowled with skill and has made a big impact with the ball. Can he knock over Rohit early?
2. Shreyas Iyer vs Riley Meredith: KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer has had a rather inconsistent season. His ups and downs have coincided with the team’s rise and fall. On days when he has done well, he has looked the best in the business. However, Iyer has had massive issues with the short ball. This is why his battle with Riley Meredith will be significant. The MI pacer is the quickest bowler in the team and can unsettle Iyer with his bouncers. So far, the KKR captain hasn’t found a way to deal with the short balls. Will Meredith continue their tradition of dismissing Shreyas with bouncers?
3. Suryakumar Yadav vs Sunil Narine: Suryakumar Yadav has arguably been MI’s best batter this season, although one must say Tilak Varma has been equally good. SKY has played excellent knocks expected of him on a number of occasions, and one can easily conclude that he has lived up to his expectations. He will be keen to continue on the same path. Even as Kolkata have struggled, Sunil Narine has been next to impossible to get away. In the last match as well, he gave only under a run-a-ball. Suryakumar is an expert at dealing with spinning deliveries. Can he unlock the Narine mystery?
4. Andre Russell vs. Jasprit Bumrah: Andre Russell has been KKR’s one-man show in the batting when it comes to consistency. He has come in and smashed the ball hard. But by the time he has arrived at the crease, the game has more or less been decided. Dre Russ would want to keep attacking and keep the fight alive. Jasprit Bumrah has not been at his best this season. But he will want to make an impact nonetheless. If he can get his yorker right, he could dislodge Russell, which would be a big scalp.
5. Nitish Rana vs Daniel Sams: Nitish Rana has done a good job as a finisher and has guided Kolkata to victory in a couple of games, using his experience. He will be expected to play a similar role in the upcoming matches. MI’s Daniel Sams has reignited his campaign with some excellent bowling performances. In the last match, he gave away only three runs in the last over against GT. He will look to stop Rana in his tracks if he goes after the bowling.