Mumbai Indians’ (MI) season got off to an all too familiar start as they lost their opening fixture in a last-ball thriller against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Much like the previous eight years, MI were rusty in the first match and were unable to get over the line. They would want their pattern of coming back strongly after a bad start to continue this season as well and the match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would be the perfect opportunity.
The head-to-head for the two teams reads 21-6 in favour of MI – a truly staggering record. MI would only want the record to further skew in their favour. However, winning against KKR would not be an easy task like the aforesaid record suggests as the side looked extremely good in their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
On that note, we take a look at how MI can defeat KKR today.
IPL 2021: KKR vs MI – Key for MI #1: Prize out KKR’s top order early
KKR rode on two excellent half-centuries from Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi to notch up a win in their opening match. The duo looked in terrific form and looked set to take the side past 200. However, after their wickets, the middle-order crumbled as the overseas trio of Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hasan suffered failures, with only Dinesh Karthik shining at the death.
The key for MI would thus be to prize out KKR’s top order early and expose the middle order soon. With the poor display in the first match by the overseas players with regard to batting, it would play in their minds and against MI, if they are brought to the crease too soon, they could be run through. A lot would thus depend on Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult to dismiss KKR’s in-form batters early.
IPL 2021: KKR vs MI – Key for MI #2: Target big runs at the death
MI are usually excellent with the bat at the death due to the presence of three explosive all-rounders as finishers in Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya. Despite the same, MI were woeful with the bat at the death last time around, but it is almost certain that the same would not continue this time around. Although the aforementioned trio suffered off-days in the first match, they would want to return to form by showing off their vintage selves with the bat.
Further, KKR’s pace bowling battery does not look very threatening at the death. Andre Russell came good last time around, but it would be too risky to rely on him alone as a good death bowler. MI would thus, want to pile on the runs at the death by taking on Russell, Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna. If they can get some big runs, KKR would well and truly come under pressure.
Nevin is pursuing his law degree at the moment. Writing and sports are his fortes and hence, firstsportz was the perfect platform to explore both. He follows a plethora of sports including cricket, football and tennis. He is a huge Chennai Super Kings and Manchester United fan.
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