Mumbai Indians (MI) take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 32 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. MI are currently top of the table having won five out of seven, while KKR are just about hanging on to their fourth position with eight points from seven matches. The previous time these two sides met, it was MI who romped home to a 49-run victory at the same venue, riding on the back of a 54-ball 80 by Rohit Sharma.
In fact, MI have a superior record over KKR in every sense. Out of the 26 meetings between the two sides, MI have won 20, while KKR have won just six. Even in the last five meetings between the two sides, it is MI, who have been dominant, winning four, losing just one.
Overall: Matches – 26 | MI – 20 Wins | KKR – 6 Wins
Last 5 Matches: MI – 4 Wins | KKR – 1 Win
Suggested TeamsWhile 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 come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
As many as 10 matches have already been played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in IPL 2020. The teams batting first have gone on to win six, while the chasing team has won just four times. KKR will be well versed with the pitch and its conditions, having won their last two matches here – first against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 10 runs and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by two runs. In both matches, KKR pulled things back in the final quarter of the game, with the ball, to register two memorable wins. KKR will be happy to return to Abu Dhabi especially after taking an 82-run pounding at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Dubai.
Barring their defeat in the first match against CSK, MI have gone on to win every match at this venue, and have won by big margins, including beating KKR. MI have now won their last four matches and a win today, will take them that much closer to assuring themselves a place in the playoffs.
As many as 3218 runs have been scored in the 10 innings in Abu Dhabi at a run-rate of 8.2 – the lowest among all three venues. The bowlers have struck every 29.6 deliveries and have picked up a wicket every 22.1, making the balls per wicket ratio the worst when you compare the three IPL 2020 venues.
The average first innings score in Abu Dhabi this season has been 169 (second innings 153), which is the lowest when compared to Dubai and Sharjah.
Both teams are well stocked to excel on this track. However, if Sunil Narine is absent once again, it could be a blow for KKR. KKR played an extra batsman – Tom Banton – in place of Narine in the previous match, but might be tempted to give Chris Green a debut this time around, which will give Kolkata six bowling options. MI already have the likes of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar, who can do a good job at this venue.
While the pacers have done well in terms of picking up more percentage of the wickets at a better average and strike-rate, the spinners have been far more economical at Abu Dhabi and as a result have succeeded in creating pressure and choking the batsmen. As a result, it might be ideal to have one or maybe two spinners in your XI, but without a doubt, it will be the quicker bowlers who will mostly do maximum damage.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
The battle between Kieron Pollard and Pat Cummins promises to be an interesting one. Out of his 26 overs this tournament, 18 have come in the first six. However, KKR might consider pitting Cummins against Pollard this time around given that the Australian quick has got the better of the burly West Indies allrounder on three out of the six occasions they’ve faced each other. Moreover, Pollard strikes at less than 100 against Cummins, which is an added incentive.
Death-overs specialist for their respective teams, Andre Russell and Jasprit Bumrah have had contrasting tournaments so far. While Bumrah started off slow and is slowly finding his rhythm, Russell on the other hand is yet to take off. It has been an even contest between these two. While Russell has managed to take 50 runs from 37 off Bumrah, the MI pacer has managed to get rid of the KKR allrounder on a couple of occasions. This could very well be the contest that decides the fate of the game one way or another.
In general, Eoin Morgan has scored at a strike-rate of 212.9 against left-arm pacers in T20s this year. Hence it comes as little surprise that he has struck at 200 even if it is against one of the best bowlers in the world, Trent Boult. Boult has managed to dismiss Morgan just once in four previous meetings and is an underdog when it comes to adding to that tally. The England captain who has blown hot and cold this season might look to target Boult in this match as well. He has succeeded in the past and there’s no reason why he cannot do it again.
Mumbai Indians’ leading run-getter Suryakumar Yadav has been in excellent form this season. His last three scores read 53, 79* and 27 out of which the first two have come in Abu Dhabi. He is a reliable No. 3 batsman, having scored 233 this season in that position, second only to Virat Kohli 255 runs. Whether it is his ability to anchor the innings or go big, Surya has shown that he is capable of both. Surya has also scored the most runs (206) in Abu Dhabi this season.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Yadav could score 14-37 runs in this match.
However, Former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has picked Quinton de Kock as his captain. Here's a quick look at his team for this tie.
Jasprit Bumrah started off slowly but he is slowly turning into his dangerous best. He is the second-highest wicket-taker this season with 11 scalps and is also the second-highest wicket-taker (9) after Kagiso Rabada (12) at the death. He has been excellent in Abu Dhabi, where he has picked up nine wickets at 15.4 along with a strike-rate of 13.3. With an average of close to two wickets per game at the venue, Bumrah is sure to give your team some valuable points especially considering his prowess at the death.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Bumrah could pick up 1-2 wickets in this match.
Shubman Gill may not have scored runs at an alarmingly quick pace, but he has been the most consistent batsman for KKR. His scores of 34 and 57 in the previous two innings hold him in good stead going into this match and is KKR’s leading run-getter with 254 runs this tournament. It will be a tough game for Gill, who will be up against the likes of Boult, James Pattinson and also Bumrah, but he has time and again proved that he is skilled enough to negotiate such bowlers and score big. KKR desperately need the young gun to fire at the top this time.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Gill could score 13-36 runs in this match.
Varun Chakravarthy could be a handy pick in this game, especially if he bowls in the Powerplay considering that Rohit and Quinton de Kock have been dismissed on four occasions combined by legspinners this season. The 29-year-old also has an excellent googly, which the batsmen have found hard to pick and there’s a high chance that he could bamboozle even the top batsmen with it. There is something in the pitch at Abu Dhabi for the spinners and the KKR tweaker could very well exploit that this time.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Chakravarthy could pick up 0-1 wickets in this match.