IPL 2021, MI vs KKR: 3 player battles to watch out for

Bumrah vs Russell will be one of the player battles in the IPL game between Mumbai and Kolkata
Bumrah vs Russell will be one of the player battles in the IPL game between Mumbai and Kolkata

The IPL 2021 restart has so far belonged to the teams placed in the second half of the points table. The only exception is the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who pulled a massive heist in the restart opener.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) made a resounding comeback after handing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) a nine-wicket defeat. They take on the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday (September 23) who will be looking to get their first win of the second leg.

It's not just the KKR comeback that matters in the scrimmage, but also the player battles between the quality players of both sides. We take a look at some of the clashes to watch out for when these two teams meet in the UAE leg of the IPL for the first time.

#1 Jasprit Bumrah vs Andre Russell: IPL's best bowler vs the most destructive batsman

Jasprit Bumrah spearheads MI's pace attack for a reason. The toe-crushing yorkers and the nagging line gives less room for batsmen to try and take him head on. One of his victims in both of Kolkata's games against Mumbai in 2020 was Andre Russell.

Bumrah's 2/35 against CSK went in vain as MS Dhoni's men nabbed a 20-run win after jolting Mumbai's batting attack. Meanwhile, KKR will be hoping that Russell can be their middle-order hurricane and help make it two-in-two.

#2 Suryakumar Yadav vs Varun Chakravarthy

Suryakumar Yadav's career graph has seen a consistent rise and he will look to dominate the IPL this season as well. Challenging him will be tweaker Varun Chakravarthy, who started his season with a three-wicket haul against the RCB.

Surya didn't have a great outing against CSK as he was dismissed for just three runs. Will today be his day?

#3 Rohit Sharma vs Lockie Ferguson

Although this player's battle seems to be a major uncertainty, it does provide the potential to be a lip-smacking contest between the world's coolest batsman and a bonafide Kiwi quick.

Rohit Sharma was a notable absentee in MI's first game in the IPL in the UAE. He suffered a dodgy knee injury, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya's niggle saw him sit out the clash against Chennai.

It is unlikely the skipper plays, but if he does, he will be up against a confident Ferguson who comes off with a double against Bangalore.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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