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The ‘Mighty’ Mumbai Indians will once again clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders in what will be the 32nd match of the Indian Premier League 2020. The match is scheduled to be held at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Mumbai Indians will be hoping they can win this encounter as they can cement their place at the top of the table. While, a loss for Knight Riders would mean they will have to fight it out to make it to the top four.

Mumbai Indians will come into this match on the back of a comfortable win. The defending champions once again proved why they are one of the strongest teams as they made easy work of the in-form Delhi Capitals. Winning the toss, the Delhi Capitals elected to bat first and with the help of Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer put up a decent total of 162. The Mumbai Indians who are doing a wonderful job this season, managed to win the match by 5 wickets with the help fifties from the bat of Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav.

While the Kolkata Knight Riders will want to leave behind their match against RCB as they took a huge beating. Virat Kohli after winning the toss made a wise decision to bat first and the brilliant knock of 73 runs of 33 balls by AB de Villiers made sure they managed to notch up 194 runs on the board. KKR had a relatively slow start to their innings as the debutant Tom Banton struggled to get going. The pin-point bowling the RCB unit meant that the KKR side were bundled out for a score of 112, which gave the RCB a thumping win by 82 runs.

The previous encounter between the two sides saw Mumbai Indians thrash the KKR team by 49 runs. The KKR after winning the toss elected to bowl first and the Mumbai Indians with the help of their captain- Rohit Sharma set a total of 195 on the board. With both the openers of KKR dismissed cheaply, MI were in the driver’s seat to win the match. 

Can the four times champions make it to the top of the table? Or will Dinesh Karthik and Co. seek redemption?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 26, MI- 20, KKR- 6. N/R- 0

Team News

Mumbai Indians seem to be a very well settled side and the management will not want to make any changes to the winning combination. They are very likely to feature the same Xl that handed them a clinical win over the Delhi Capitals.

Kolkata Knight Riders on the other hand have had to deal with the issue of the West Indian all-rounder Sunil Narine, who was reported for illegal action. He was made to sit out the last match against RCB so as to work on his action. The decision was taken as one more warning would mean that the off-spinner could be banned from bowling in this season of IPL.

He was replaced by the hard-hitting Englishmen Tom Banton. Though the youngster failed to impress on his debut, it is too early to take a call on his ability. Sunil Narine would have now definitely worked on his action and is likely to make it back to the team.

Pitch and Conditions

Abu Dhabi has been the slowest among the three pitches in UAE. With the pitch on the slower side, the spinners could definitely use it in their favor. As seen in the last few matches, any score of 170 plus by the team batting first seems to be a winning one.With the match scheduled to be played in the evening the due may once again come into play. 

The conditions are once again ideal for cricket as there is no chance of rain whatsoever. The temperature is on the lower side as the peak summer in the country is coming to an end. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 29-30 degree range. While the humidity is reported to be around the 52% mark, which will be a huge relief for the players.

Probable Playing Xl

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

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Tom Banton/Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy

Key Battles

Quinton de Kock (MI) vs Prasidh Krishna (KKR)

Quinton de Kock (MI) vs Prasidh Krishna (KKR)

The MI opener has been having an in and out season. The proteas captain has managed to score 191 runs from the 7 matches played at a strike-rate of 143.60. Though his numbers may not be that impressive this season. The 27- year old is someone who can play the long innings and Mumbai Indians will be looking forward to him to once again give the team a flying start. 

Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side have been doing a decent job with the ball and the inclusion of Prasidh Krishna has been a rewarding one. The 24- year old seems to be really good at touch and has already picked up 4 wickets in his two games. He will be surely looking forward to picking up the wicket of the MI opener, as the game could become much easier for the KKR from there.

Can the proteas captain dominate the KKR bowlers? Or will the in-form Krishna castle the opener?

Shubman Gill (KKR) vs Trent Boult (MI)

Shubman Gill (KKR) vs Trent Boult (MI)

The young Shubman Gill has been doing a tremendous job as the opener for KKR and he looks really hungry for runs. The 21-year old has managed to score 254 runs in the 7 matches played so far at a strike-rate of 119.24. He has provided the much needed starts for the KKR and he will be looking forward to pile up the runs for his team.

Though he would be aware of the fact that the last time these two sides met, Trent Boult got the better of him. The youngster is surely capable of playing the best bowlers in the world. But, the fact that he was already a victim of Boult would make the youngster take a cautious approach. The New Zealand spear head is having a wonderful season with the ball, as he has already picked up 11 wickets at an economy of 7.92. He is currently positioned 4th in the list of the highest wicket-takers in this season of the IPL.

Can the youngster pay back? Or will the veteran use all his experience to dismiss the opener cheaply?

Prediction

The defending champions look very strong on the sheets. They are a very well balanced side and have players of the highest caliber. Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side are no way less in terms of talent and will be looking forward to showcase their resources in this encounter. The conditions are quite in favor of the Mumbai Indians team but the shortest format of the game only requires a couple of overs to turn around the momentum.

The head to head record is completely in favor of the Mumbai team, winning 20 matches out of the 26 matches played. With most of their players in form and the batting line-up going really deep, KKR would require something special from their players to get past the four times champions.

Can Andre Russell finally get things going? Will the Narine spell dominate the MI side?

Cricwizz predicts Mumbai Indians to win the match