IPL 2021, MI vs KKR preview: Can Kolkata pull off an upset to aid its race for playoffs?
The IPL 2021 is getting serious with each passing matchday in the UAE. Meanwhile, Match 34 would witness a heavy clash between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi.
Things keep getting hard in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, on Thursday, defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) would clash against former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
MI needs three to four more wins to seal its berth in the playoffs, being placed fourth in the table. As for KKR, it is ranked sixth, having won just three of the seven games and would need to win almost every game hereon to stand a chance for the playoffs, while we present the preview of this enthralling clash.
As far as MI's side is concerned, it is heavy on its bowling, which has undoubtedly been its strength for quite some time now. However, it does possess a formidable batting line-up with enough star power, which cannot be taken lightly. The focus would again be on skipper Rohit Sharma, along with Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Quinton de Kock and many more.
Meanwhile, KKR, too, has a tide bowling heavy side, which was evident in how it outplayed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the last game. As for its batting, it seems like it has found a new mojo, thus focusing on Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana, alongside skipper Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and others.
Injury concerns: None of the sides has any injury concerns.
The two sides have clashed on 29 occasions, with MI leading 22-6. Of the three games in UAE and Abu Dhabi, MI leads 2-1.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Abu Dhabi will be hot again, with an expected temperature of around 36 degrees and humidity around 48%. The track would be somewhat slow, while the side winning the toss should ideally look to chase.
MI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sourabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard (vc), Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah and Adam Milne.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy and Prasidh Krishna.
Batsmen: Rohit, Pollard (vc), Yadav, Rana, Tripathi- Rohit, and Rana are sure to give the right starts, while Tripathi can do the same at number three. As for Pollard and Yadav, they can consolidate in the middle, while the former's great form makes him the deputy.
Wicketkeeper: De Kock- A no-brainer in the department who has been in a deadly form with the bat.
All-rounder: Russell (c)- Another must-have in the side, who has been highly effective with his bowling of late, thus making him the skipper.
Bowlers: Boult, Krishna, Chahar, Chakravarthy- The pace attack of Boult and Krishna has been extremely dominant, while Chahar and Chakravarthy have been doing the same with their spin.
Date and day: September 23, 2021 (Thursday)
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar
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