Two heavyweights race for final berth

Plot:

Having finished in the top 2, we have an extra attempt to make it to the Indian Premier League final. That opportunity comes in the form of two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Mumbai Indians have the chance to seal a place in the final for the fourth time. After a tough loss to Rising Pune Supergiant back home in Wankhede, we will be looking to recover and continue our strong record against Kolkata. Both sides are traditional heavyweights and the stakes will be high going into the game.

Our opponents are coming off a win against the defending champions in the Eliminator at this very venue. In the rain-affected game, KKR managed to chase down the target to draw curtains on Hyderabad’s campaign. Kolkata have relied heavily on the likes of Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, and Gautam Gambhir this season and have a well-balanced side with their players more often than not stepping up in crucial games. Having won 15 out of the 20 games we’ve played against them so far, the boys will be backing themselves to get the job done.

Rohit Sharma particularly enjoys an outing against the Kolkata Knight Riders. He averages 48.85 against them in IPL and strikes at a rate of 138.74. KKR might come up with a plan or two against him but our captain will be equally prepared.
Whereas, Bengaluru brings out the best of Krunal Pandya. In the two matches he’s played here, his economy rate has been as low as 4.5 and he has already bagged a Man of the Match award. The elder of the two Pandya brothers will have to bowl against an impressive KKR batting line-up and would look to keep things tight.

The boys will be hoping to shrug off the loss at the Wankhede and rectify our mistakes like we always do. When they take to the field at the Chinnaswamy, our batsmen and bowlers would be raring to go and seal the final berth. We’ve managed to beat Kolkata on both occasions this year and the third victory against them will be a step away from our third IPL title.

Stage:

M. Chinnaswamy, Bengaluru

The league game we played at this venue, produced one of the fightbacks of the season by us against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. It’s not the typical Bengaluru wicket anymore where you can chase down any total. With the wicket becoming a tricky one, the batsmen need to reassess and adjust their game accordingly. It will be interesting to see whether both the sides go with extra batsman or bolster their bowling department.

Acts:

Lasith Malinga vs Chris Lynn

Our yorker specialist showed glimpses of returning to form in the last game. He kept things tight and it will be fascinating to see how he fares against hard-hitter Chris Lynn, who likes going after the pacers in particular. Malinga, being the experienced player and one of the most dangerous bowlers in this format, will surely have something up his sleeve for the devastating batsman.

Rohit Sharma vs Sunil Narine

As we all know, Rohit Sharma has a great record against Kolkata but his record against the spinners this season has been iffy. He would look to go after Kolkata’s key weapon in spin – Narine, and lead from the front.

Kieron Pollard vs Piyush Chawla

When there’s a leggie in sight, there’s a smile on Pollard’s face. The big man bats with full freedom against them and mostly deals in biggies. Chawla is an experienced campaigner and it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with against our dangerous all-rounder.

Stats:

This will be Jasprit Bumrah’s 100th T20 game.

Rohit Sharma needs more 8 runs to complete 6500 runs in T20s.


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