IPL 2018, KKR vs MI Match Prediction: Who will win today's match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians
Who will come out on top as Karthik takes on Rohit?
With Rajasthan Royals beating Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur, both Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have even further incentive to come out and win this encounter at the Eden Gardens.
A win for the Mumbai Indians will put them level on points with the Kolkata Knight Riders, who currently occupy the final playoff spot. However, a win for the KKR will put them level with Kings XI Punjab, who are in third place.
With both teams keen to pick up a win that could shape their rest of the season, it will be interesting to see how they approach the game. Her is a look at what might happen in the crucial encounter at Eden Gardens:
Date: 9th May, 2018
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Time: 8.00 PM IST
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first
Predicted Score - 165+
Kolkata Knight Riders are in fourth place on the table but they need to win to put pressure on not just the top two but also on Kings XI Punjab, who are two points ahead of them, having played the same number of games.
Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn haven't fared as well as either would have wanted. While Narine the all-rounder has been incredibly effective, Lynn, the destroyer of bowling line-ups hasn't quite had the same impact. In the previous game against MI, Narine didn't open and came lower down the order and they had Shubman Gill opening. It will be interesting to see if they do it again.
If they do, that certainly gives them a more traditional batting line-up and with Robin Uthappa finally getting his first fifty of this season, they will hope that there is more to come from the Karnataka batsman. Nitish Rana was fit enough to play in the previous game and was in good nick as well until he was dismissed.
After him, Dinesh Karthik has been great as the finisher so far this season even if he wasn't able to get going and get the job done in the previous match. Andre Russell hasn't fired consistently and they will need him to give them a late push.
MI bowled much better than they did all season in their last match and if they can keep it going, KKR will find it tough. And their total will largely depend on the explosiveness of the top-order and how Russell and Karthik can finish things off. A total in excess of 165 should be the least they expect.
If Mumbai Indians bat first
Predicted Score - 170+
The equation is pretty straightforward for Mumbai Indians, who are currently in fifth place. While their position might seem alright, they are just two points above bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils and they have just four wins on the board from 10 games.
With just four games to go, MI realistically need to win all their games to ensure that their hopes of making the playoffs are in their own hands and they don't have to rely on anyone else to do them a favor.
Suryakumar Yadav has remained incredibly consistent and Evin Lewis joined in the party last time around. Although Rohit Sharma has been inconsistent, a return to his favorite stomping ground should mean that his game is back to his free-flowing best. Although Lewis and SKY have done well, it wouldn't be out of the question if Rohit decides to open or at least come in at No.3 for this game.
Recently, Hardik Pandya has shown that he can be consistent with both bat and ball. His promotions have rewarded the team and he will look to keep that good run going. Against a potent KKR spin trio, he will once again be key and play a big role in them achieving a big total. If the openers fire and Rohit continues his form at the Eden Gardens, then a total in excess of 170 should be easily achieved.
It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this battle between a batting-heavy line-up that has fired on and off and a team that has turned to its spinners at every occasion to get them back in the game. With spinners expected to get in the game at Kolkata, it will be interesting to see which bowling line-up can come out on top.
Irrespective of which side bowls better, the game will depend on which batting team can turn up on the day and do the job. The toss will be an important factor in deciding the outcome of the game as both sides prefer chasing and would rather do that than set a target. MI are on a roll and despite home advantage for KKR, this might be a bit beyond as the Rohit Sharma's side roll into town.
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