IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians Preview - Batting Heavy Kolkata Look to Hurt Slow Starters Mumbai

The two-time champions are the last to play their first game and will be eager. Will that eagerness or over-eagerness hurt Karthik and KKR or will Mumbai continue to stick to their tradition of being slow starters?

IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians Preview - Batting Heavy Kolkata Look to Hurt Slow Starters Mumbai

Defending champions Mumbai Indians did not have the start they would have fancied for IPL 2020 against Chennai Super Kings and will now look to get back to winning ways against Kolkata Knight Riders, who play their first game of the tournament on September 23 in Abu Dhabi.

The availability of England's World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton, and Australia's Pat Cummins definitely bolsters the KKR squad while Mumbai need their Indian contingent in the batting line-up to support openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock.

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Without Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, the bowling is a lot less scarier adding that little bit more pressure on the batting to deliver.

A surprise pick for them was Saurabh Tiwary at number 4 in place of Ishan Kishan. A move which worked as Tiwari scored 42 off 31 balls at a strike rate of over 135.

However, the bigger focus and concern will be around Hardik Pandya who wasn’t the most comfortable on the opening day after returning from a long injury layoff. An injury to their star all-rounder is the last thing Mumbai will want.

The vastly experienced Mumbai think tank will not only need the bowlers to be more effective against a big hitting Kolkata lineup but also hope the ground fielding is back to their usually high standards.

For Kolkata, who are playing their first game, Dinesh Karthik has a plethora of talent to pick from. Young Shubman Gill along with an in-form Sunil Narine are likely to be followed by Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan and Karthik, making up a very formidable line-up.

Undoubtedly, the expensive Pat Cummins will lead the attack meaning Lockie Ferguson and America’s first cricketer at the IPL Ali Khan will have to wait their turn.

India’s Kuldeep Yadav is also likely to get the nod and as are youngsters Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Karthik and KKR have made it clear that after the unpleasant season in 2019 and they are going to look to fire on all cylinders from the word go, which is potentially dangerous for most opponents.

The two-time champions are the last to play their first game and will be eager. Will that eagerness or over-eagerness hurt Karthik and KKR or will Mumbai continue to stick to their tradition of being slow starters?

WHAT: IPL 2020, Match 5

WHEN: September 23, 7:30PM IST

WHERE: Abu Dhabi

TELECAST: Star Sports Network

LIVE STREAMING: Disney + Hotstar

Predicted XI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) - Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik(c & wk), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna

Mumbai Indians (MI) - Quinton de Kock(wk), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Squads:

KKR: Dinesh Karthik (c), Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Chris Green, Eoin Morgan, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton, Varun Chakravarthy.

MI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson