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IPL 2019 | Five Key Battles in MI vs KKR Encounter

Cricketnext Staff |May 5, 2019, 9:29 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Five Key Battles in MI vs KKR Encounter

Mumbai Indians will host Kolkata Knight Riders for the final league stage encounter of IPL 2019. While the home side have secured their qualification, Dinesh Karthik’s side will know exactly under what conditions they need to beat the hosts in order to certain playoffs qualification. Given that both sides have already produced a run-fest in their clash at Eden Gardens, the game on Sunday could follow similar lines unless the bowlers can cause a massive impact.

Here’s a look at the key battles between players that could end up determining the outcome of the fixture:

Hardik Pandya vs Piyush Chawla

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya’s form over IPL 2019 has been nothing short of phenomenal. KKR were on the receiving end of one of the all-rounder’s blitz but survived thanks to the massive 232 runs on the board. In case Pandya gets moved up the order in Mumbai, KKR’s best bet would be on Piyush Chawla. Pandya has been merciless against the spinners but the leg-spinner can use his crease to tempt the all-rounder to hit across the line from wide of the off-stump. Considering that Wankhede wicket does assist spin, Chawla might be able to get the better of the in-form all-rounder.

Lasith Malinga vs Chris Lynn

Chris Lynn

Chris Lynn has been among the runs but not as consistent as Kolkata would have liked him to be. He fired them to a quick start in the previous game against Kings XI Punjab, and on a Wankhede pitch in the final league game of the tournament, the Australian opener will want to show his prowess. He has struggled when bowlers have taken pace off the ball and has been often found himself cramped for room. Someone who has done that all his life is Lasith Malinga. He has led the bowling attack superbly for Mumbai this season and will once again hold the aces going against the opener early in the game.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Andre Russell


Andre Russell has single handedly won games for his side and facing one of their arch rivals in Mumbai, the big West Indian needs no motivation to come good, ensure his side a win and take KKR into the playoffs. He, though, will be up against the best in Jasprit Bumrah who has been lethal with the ball both at the top and in the death overs as well, and is coming back of an exceptional crunch situation performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Whoever wins this battle, might be a deciding factor in the game on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma vs Sandeep Warrier

ROhit Sharma

Rohit Sharma has not been in the best of form in IPL 2019, having managed just one 50-plus score this season. Often the Mumbai Indians skipper has found himself getting dismissed trying to up the scoring-rate after a cautious approach at the beginning. Sharma does struggle against swing in the initial stages of his innings, something KKR’s new pacer Sandeep Warrier can exploit. The 28-year-old was impressive in his first couple of games and was instrumental in Kolkata’s success with the new ball against Kings XI Punjab. The Kerala pacer will like the bounce and swing available in Mumbai and can use it to trouble the MI opener.

Quinton de Kock vs Sunil Narine


While Rohit Sharma has not been successful at the top, his opening partner Quinton de Kock has had a good outing this season, having scored at an average of 38.5. The South Africa loves pace upfront but has not looked comfortable against spinners. Sunil Narine might be given a go as the off-spinner can use his guile to flummox the southpaw. It is a high-risk strategy for KKR but it could deny MI a good start and expose the in-form middle order early in the innings.

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