Abu Dhabi, Oct 15 (IANS/GloFans) Reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) are in red hot form and the Rohit Sharma-led side will aim to consolidate their position on the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table when they clash with an inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their return fixture on Friday.
The last time the two sides met in the current season, MI had thrashed KKR by 49 runs at the same venue, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
With their consistent performances, MI have emerged as one of the favorites of this year’s title. The entire team has clicked as a unit, with both the bowlers and batsmen stepping up whenever the situation demanded.
While they have in-form top-order comprising skipper Rohit and opener Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have provided stability to their side in the middle-order. The MI batters are at their peak and can rip apart the best of bowling attacks.
With the likes of Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, MI have some of the most destructive guns in their lower middle-order.
Meanwhile, MI bowling department, too, looks quite settled, with lethal pacers like Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and James Pattinson being part of their arsenal. The trio has come with breakthroughs at crucial points and would look to continue with it.
The spin workload will once again be shared by Rahul Chahar and Krunal.
On the other hand, KKR have plenty of issues in their backyard. Their major concern is the inconsistency of the players, especially their batsmen.
They do have Andre Russell in their middle-order. However, the Caribbean all-rounder hasn’t been up to the expectations, managing merely 71 runs from seven games.
KKR, undoubtedly, possess some of the fine batsmen of the game, comprising opener Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, and skipper Dinesh Karthik. But they all have let their team down with inconsistent performance.
KKR’s bowling has, however, performed better than the batters. Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, and K Nagarkoti have been average with the ball and needs to up the ante as the league will head towards the business end.
While KKR will aim to avenge their last defeat, MI would be in no mood to spare any of their opponents in order to be at the pole position at the end of the league stage.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Ali Khan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrior, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Tom Banton