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IPL 2021 – MI vs KKR – Match Preview – Battle of the middle rung teams expected to produce fireworks

Mumbai Indians (MI) to face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 34th match of IPL 2021 at Abu Dhabi.

IPL 2021, MIvsKKR, 34th Match: Mumbai Indians to face Kolkata Knight Riders in 34th match of IPL 2021 at Abu Dhabi, Availability of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya is still a question mark.
Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya's availability still a question mark. (Image: ©Getty Images)

Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) both kicked off their campaign in the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on the opposite sides of the coin. While Mumbai lost their game against Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata beat Royal Challengers Bangalore comprehensively when they bowled RCB out for a mere 92 runs and chased down the small target in just 10 overs.

MI vs KKR - H2H Record

In the 28 times Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have faced each other, Mumbai are far ahead of Kolkata with 22 wins under their belt while KKR have managed to win just six games.

The last time these two teams met during the first leg, Mumbai Indians defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs. In recent times, Mumbai Indians have dominated KKR winning 12 out of 13 games played against each other.

Additionally, the defending champions Mumbai Indians have won their last six fixtures out of eight played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi which is the venue for the MI vs KKR encounter scheduled to take place on September 23, 2021.

How the two teams are placed in the IPL points table

Both teams are still in the hunt for claiming a spot in the playoffs with MI having 4 wins out of 8 games and KKR with 3 wins out of the same number of games. Both teams will look to get a win to increase their chances to make it to the playoffs.

Although, with injuries potentially leaving Mumbai short of two key players, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya, for a second successive game, this could be the Knight Riders' best chance to make the most of this opportunity and improve their overall record against MI.

Possibility of Rohit, Hardik being back

MI and New Zealand seamer Trent Boult provided an update on Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya's availability for the game against KKR. He said, “They are both recovering very well. In terms of their selection for the next game, I'm not too sure what's going on. Day by day, they are improving. It was probably out of precaution that they had that extra bit of rest the other night against Chennai.”

“They are two vital players in the XI for Mumbai. We're desperate to have them back. So, fingers crossed that they'll be pretty good to go over the next couple of games," he added.

"The good news is that Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya's injuries are not too serious", as stated by Head Coach Mahela Jayawardene. Here's keeping our fingers crossed and hoping the duo will make it back to the playing XI soon.

Probable XIs

Mumbai Indians Probable XI - Rohit Sharma (c)/Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult

Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI - Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna

Pitch Condition

The Zayed Cricket Stadium’s pitch is generally recognised as a batting-friendly wicket. However, in the early overs, the pacers can get some nip off the pitch and in the middle overs the pitch can help the spinners as well.

Weather Forecast

According to the forecast, the temperature of Abu Dhabi on Thursday is expected to hover between 31 to 33 degrees Celsius with humidity expected to lie roughly between 40-60 per cent. There are no chances of rain, so the fans can expect an uninterrupted affair.

Stat Update

- The top run-scorers in the fixtures between MI and KKR are Rohit Sharma (866), Suryakumar Yadav (423) and Gautam Gambhir (349).

- The top wicket-takers in the encounters between MI and KKR are Sunil Narine (22), Lasith Malinga (20), Jasprit Bumrah (12).

- If Rohit Sharma scores 18 runs in this game, he'll become the first batter to score 1000 runs against a single opposition in the IPL. Till now, he has 982 runs from 28 games against the Knight Riders at an average of 46.76 and a strike rate of 133.06 comprising six fifties and one century.

- Among top five highest individual scores in H2H encounters between KKR and MI, MI players registered four of them - Rohit three times (109, 98, 84*), Hardik Pandya (91) and Manish Pandey from KKR (81*).

- Shubman Gill is set to play his 50th T20I game for the two-times champion Kolkata Knight Riders.

The MI vs KKR match kicks off at 19:30 hours IST.


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