Cricket

IPL 2021 | Tactically recast Knight Riders aim to break the Mumbai jinx

Smash hit: Rana will look to carry his form into the match against MI.  

Eoin Morgan’s tactical blueprint of relentlessly aggressive batting, which won England the 50-over World Cup, seems to be the mantra for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 IPL.

KKR batted in top gear against Sunrisers Hyderabad to start the tournament on a high. It beat David Warner’s side by 10 runs.

And when it meets Mumbai Indians at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday, expect KKR to go berserk with the bat once again.

The side will be keen on improving its head-to-head record against the five-time champion and keeping the net run rate (NRR) up.

Of the 27 games between the teams, KKR has managed just six wins to Mumbai’s 21.

Key players

Left-hander Nitish Rana, who blasted 80 off 56 in the opener, should continue with the fireworks in the PowerPlay. He has a seasoned partner in Shubman Gill, who has the ability to negate the Jasprit Bumrah threat.

MI will be hoping to put up a better show with the bat after managing just 159 in its first match of the season against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Favourite opponent

Skipper Rohit Sharma, who missed out on a big score due to an unfortunate run out, will be eager to flex his muscles against his favourite opponent. Rohit has 939 runs against KKR in the IPL at an average of 46.95. Even his only hundred in the tournament came against the Kolkata side.

de Kock available

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock is out of quarantine and available for selection. It remains to be seen whether he makes the final XI ahead of Chris Lynn, who scored 49 off 35 balls against RCB.

Hardik Pandya did not bowl in the first game due to a shoulder niggle, but is expected to roll his arm over against KKR.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 7:18:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ipl-2021-tactically-recast-knight-riders-aim-to-break-the-mumbai-jinx/article34306427.ece

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