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The Mumbai Indians are still alive in this tournament. They beat the Kolkata Knight Riders at home and will have to do the same to continue hopes of a miraculous comeback into this tournament. KKR, on the other hands, will be hoping that home advantage helps it turn the tables on the Mumbai Indians as the two play back to back matches.
KKR is in a much better position than Mumbai on the league table but a couple of more losses and it may slip out of the top half of the league table. A return to the Eden Gardens is going to be welcome for KKR as home advantage has proved to be a very important factor in this tournament.
KKR will have to do something drastically different from their last game to be able to turn things around against the Mumbai Indians. KKR has not beaten the Mumbai Indians since 2015 and that record has started to become a weight around their necks everytime this contest occurs.
We actually liked some of the changes that KKR made and hope that they will stick with them for a couple of matches instead of going back. Promoting Shubman Gill up the order was an excellent move. He was unable to get used to the barrage of short-pitched bowling that Mumbai threw at him but will surely come back with better plans.
Sunil Narine has become the regular opener for KKR in this season but his vulnerability to the short-pitched ball makes him an unlikely candidate in this return fixture as well.
Chris Lynn has been underwhelming this season. He once again got off to a good start, struck a few boundaries but threw it away. For a man who was expected to be the lynchpin of the KKR batting, such returns are not good enough. Mumbai has made its plans very clear and will hit him with short-pitched bowling and a mix of slower bowlers to throw him off of his game.
Lynn is good enough to adapt and he will be the big wicket in this contest. Perhaps promoting Andre Russell to throw a spanner in the works might be something that KKR can think of as well. Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, and Nitish Rana have been good but they are being found out by teams in the last few matches.
Karthik has been excellent at the death but Rana needs to work on keeping his strike rate high towards the end of the innings and Uthappa needs to close out games more consistently as well.
The loss of a very impressive Shivam Mavi has added to the list of problems for KKR. Debutant Krishna had a tough game and Andre Russell has not been bowling his quota of overs as well. Dinesh Karthik could definitely have utilized his bowlers better in the last match as three of his frontline bowlers ended up bowling less than their full quota of overs.
A little tinkering around is all that needs to be done for KKR as they try to end their regular season strong.
Chris Lynn, SP Narine, RV Uthappa, Nitish Rana, RK Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Tom Curran, Prasidh Krishna.
Everyone who is watching the IPL and has been following the tournament for the last few overs knows this story well. Mumbai Indians start off slow, stutter in the middle, and then come to life towards the end of the tournament to squeak into the playoffs.
Can they do it again this year?
The Mumbai Indians have to win every one of their remaining games to try and have a shot of qualification. They will be fairly confident coming to Kolkata now that their team seems to have hit a winning momentum.
Every time Rohit Sharma travels to Kolkata we recommend that punters look at putting money on him. Some players have a special bond with certain grounds and that is true for Rohit Sharma and the Eden Gardens.
It was very encouraging to see him bat at number three in the last match once again and we look forward to seeing him deal with Sunil Narine differently. Rohit has had a tough time against Narine in the past and needs to see off the West Indian bowler if he can. He is good enough to take full toll on the other bowlers in the KKR lineup and that is what he should be aiming at.
Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav were able to get the Mumbai Indians off to another good start and they both should enjoy the conditions in Kolkata as well.
With runs from Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, and players like JP Duminy, Ben Cutting, and Ishan Kishan also in the lineup, the Mumbai Indians is a formidable batting team.
Cutting did not have a good outing in the last match, though, and his place in the playing eleven will come under some scrutiny. Denied a chance to bat, Cutting went for runs in the two overs he bowled. The Mumbai Indians will be tempted to change him out for Mustafizur Rahman but we hope they stick with the Aussie as he brings so much to the table in all three facets of the game.
The bowling unit of McClenaghan, Bumrah, and Pandya followed a very clear strategy of bouncing out the top order and they could look to do the same this time around. The challenge for them this time would be to succeed when the KKR batsmen know they are coming.
The Mumbai Indians are in a tough spot but have played good cricket this entire season. They lost four matches in the last over, all of which could have easily gone either way. They are a good team and will provide excellent value to potential punters.
Evin Lewis, SA Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mayank Markande, MJ Mcclenaghan, JJ Bumrah.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first, es[ecially with rain around.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
There is a 20% chance of rain as currently predicted for match day. The good thing, though, is that the weather is expected to ease out as the time of the match approaches. Still, rain could be a factor in this game.
The pitch in Kolkata has been very good for batting. It almost always has a bit of grass to help keep the underlying surface solid and provides assistance to the fast bowlers early on. Spinners on both sides may be relegated to holding jobs in this match. A score of 170 should be considered par.
The Mumbai Indians have had a stranglehold on the Kolkata Knight Riders for the last several years. Mumbai also has many players on its side that enjoy playing at the Eden Gardens and are in good form. KKR will have home advantage and will come back with better plans to counter the Mumbai Indians but we don’t think they will be able to win this match.
Back the Mumbai Indians to win.
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