Having missed the play-offs in the last two editions, Kolkata looked a different unit during the 10-run win over Hyderabad in its opener. Be it the aggression shown by the top-order or Dinesh Karthik’s explosive finish with the bat, KKR displayed a fearless approach under skipper Eoin Morgan.
The two-time champion will look to replicate the same against Mumbai, which comes into the contest on the back of a loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the tournament opener. While Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi would hope to continue their good form, Shubman Gill will be keen to make his first significant contribution.
Rana and Tripathi had posted half-centuries against SRH, doing bulk of the scoring. The finishing duties will be taken care of by Andre Russell, Morgan and Karthik.
On a spin-friendly Chepauk surface, Kolkata is expected to go with three slow bowlers once again – Shakib Al Hasan, Varun Chakravarthy and Harbhajan Singh.
Fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna did their bit in the last game, with the duo aiming to deliver another good performance. KKR’s opponent Mumbai will pose a different kind of challenge to the one that SRH did.
Opener Quinton de Kock is out of quarantine, but it will be interesting to see if he replaces Chris Lynn, who did well against RCB. Captain Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will look to set a good base so that Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya can accelerate at the end.
Pacers Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah will be Mumbai’s key weapons in the bowling department, with South African Marco Jansen proving to be a surprise package.
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