NOTE: All stats here are updated until 11 April 2021
Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians endured contrasting fortunes in their respective first games of the season. While KKR defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs, MI lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore on the opening night of the 2021 Indian Premier League. It’s interesting that despite being so successful, the team from Mumbai haven’t won their first game in any season since 2012.
In IPL fixtures between the two teams, though, MI have been utterly dominant over the years. The five-time champions have won 21 matches and lost just six times against KKR. In fact, they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games against KKR which is an incredible stat.
Overall: Matches – 27 | KKR – 6 Wins | MI – 21 Wins
Last 5 Matches: KKR – 1 Win | MI – 4 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we have come up with one team.
There have been two matches held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai so far this season. In those games, 683 runs were scored across the four innings at an average run-rate of 8.5, while a wicket fell every 24.4 runs and 17.1 deliveries.
Scoring has been slightly easier here this season, when compared to the numbers from recent years. Since 2019, across all T20 matches at the venue, the average run-rate has been 7.4. The batting average (24.3) during the same period has been slightly on the lower side, but wickets tend to fall at a rate (19.7 balls per dismissal) which is closer to the median.
In IPL 2021 so far, pacers have been more of a wicket-taking threat than spinners in Chennai. The faster bowlers have taken 17 wickets out of the 24 to fall to bowlers, and they possess a superior bowling strike rate as well – 17.3 versus 26.6 for the spinners.
But since 2019, as the graph below shows, spinners have been more successful at this venue in T20 cricket. When it comes to frontline bowlers, we have selected two pacers and one spinner in our team. Andre Russell, who is an all-rounder, is the third fast bowler in the side.
Quinton de Kock is expected to be available for this match. If he does play, then you should look to select him in your team as he has been quite consistent with the bat for MI since the joining the franchise in 2019.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
Andre Russell and Jasprit Bumrah are two of the best T20 cricketers in the world and this will be an eye-catching contest if it does take place. So far, Bumrah has dismissed Russell thrice from 41 deliveries in T20 cricket while the latter has scored at a strike rate of 131.7. It’ll be interesting to see if Russell decides to take on Bumrah or plays him out.
Kieron Pollard is another all-rounder from the Caribbean who is among the world’s best T20 cricketers. On the other hand, KKR have Pat Cummins who is among one of the world’s top bowlers. In the past, Cummins has done well against Pollard in this format – dismissing the West Indies limited-overs captain thrice in just 34 deliveries while also restricting the batting strike rate to below 100.
Rohit Sharma was looking good during his time in the middle against RCB before an unfortunate mix-up with Chris Lynn saw him get run-out. Among all the teams he has faced in the IPL, he has scored more runs (939) against KKR and has a superb average (47) too. This is one of the reasons we’ve selected him as captain for this game. If Quinton de Kock plays, he could also be a good option to consider.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rohit could score 21-32 runs in this match.
Andre Russell didn’t make the best of starts to IPL 2021. With the bat, he was dismissed for just five but did take one wicket later on with his bowling. It’s his ability to contribute with both bat and ball that makes him a good pick for fantasy cricket. In the match against SRH, two of the three overs he bowled came during last five overs of the innings, which is encouraging as generally more wickets tend to fall during that period.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Russell could score 14-21 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
Trent Boult has been excellent for MI since joining the franchise last season. What has been really impressive is his ability to get wickets with the new ball. He comfortably took more wickets (16) than anyone else during Powerplay overs in IPL 2020 and he was at it in the match against RCB on Friday as well, picking up a wicket in the sixth over. Since joining MI, he has gone wicketless just twice in 16 IPL matches.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Boult could take 1-2 wickets in this match
Nitish Rana was sensational against SRH, scoring 80 from 56 deliveries. His knock played a massive role in KKR getting off to a winning start in IPL 2021 and he was deservingly named the Player of the Match. In IPL 2020, he was quite inconsistent and he would want to ensure that isn’t repeated this time around.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rana could score 20-31 runs in this match.
(Image Courtesy – BCCI)