IPL 2019, KKR vs MI: Match Preview, Players to watch out for, probable XIs
The Kolkata Knight Riders will face an arduous task of adding life to their campaign, which has taken a nose-dive from the last six games as they prepare to host the Mumbai Indians in match no.47 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Having won four of their first five games this season, the Knight Riders seem to have completely lost the plot in the last six games and are currently staring down the barrel, with a loss against the Mumbai Indians all but set to put a screeching halt to their qualification into the playoffs.
However, the pressure issue for the Knight Riders has been their shambolic show at home that has seen them lose four of their six games at home. KKR's strategy of chopping and changing their squad, dropping some big names such as Robin Uthappa and Kuldeep Yadav has only hurt their cause even further.
The Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, will be coming into the competition full of confidence having beaten the Chennai Super Kings in their own backyard and are potentially one win away from sealing a spot in the playoffs.
Rohit Sharma's side has four wins from six away games and will be gunning to pile the pressure on KKR, while the hosts will need to conjure up a special algorithm to claim only their fifth win in twelve games.
Head to Head record - P:23, MI:18, KKR:5
The Mumbai Indians hold a clear majority in terms of head to head clashes and the fact that the Knight Riders last won a match against Mumbai back in IPL 2015 will undoubtedly play a big part in denting their confidence even further.
MI have won the last eight encounters against the Knight Riders and will be eager to extend their winning run.
Key players to watch out for
Andre Russell will hold the key for the Knight Riders with his all-round skill playing out well for the Knight Riders. The top run-getter for the Knights this season, Russell has 406 runs from 10 matches at a whopping strike rate of 209.28 but will look to put behind his poor show from the last two matches and put up a winning performance yet again.
Rohit Sharma regained his lost touch with a well-crafted fifty on a tricky pitch against CSK and will hold the aces for MI against KKR. On a pitch that has borne witness to a number of special knocks from Sharma, the MI skipper averages 49.31 against KKR and will be keen to get a lot more runs under his belt.
Probable Playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have failed to stick on to a winning combination and have tried and tested 17 of their players from the 21 in their squad. However, for this crunch game, KKR might be tempted to bring in Robin Uthappa and Matthew Kelly at the expense of Rinku Singh and Carlos Brathwaite.
Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c &wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Matthew Kelly, Prasidh Krishna, Yarra Prithviraj.
The Mumbai Indians had a perfect game against the Chennai Super Kings and could be happy to stick with the winning combination.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.