Kolkata look to extend winning streak, Mumbai Indians aim to bounce back - GulfToday

Kolkata look to extend winning streak, Mumbai Indians aim to bounce back


Mumbai Indians' players seen during a practice session.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Mumbai will look to bounce back from the disappointment of their defeat against Chennai Super Kings in the last match when they take on Kolkata knight riders in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

After getting off to a dominant start against Chennai, Mumbai failed to go on to win the match. They spurned a chance to climb up the standings and boost their play offs hopes.

Mumbai pacers had rattled Chennai and pushed them on the back foot but they could not keep the strangle hold and let the match slip away from their hands.

Skipper Rohit Sharma and the prolific all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who did not play in the last game, are likely to come back for Kolkata clash.

Rohit, who is being tipped to take over the captaincy of India’s T20 team after Virat Kohli steps down, can open the innings which will consolidate the middle order.

Rohit’s leadership credential are undisputedly one of the best in the country as he has led Mumbai to a record five IPL titles. He also guided India to Asia Cup glory in 2018 in the UAE.

Rohit is also in good knack of form after scoring a ton against England to end a long century drought on the foreign soil.

But he is going to play in a different format in altogether a different condition. How he carries his Test form into shortest format will be vital in Mumbai’s success.

Hardik can be very dangerous customer in the death overs as he has the ability to spur the run rate. The combination of Kieron Pollard and Hardik in the death over can be a nightmare for any bowler, which leaves them wondering whom they actually want on the strike.

The return of the Rohit and Hardik will certainly boost the Mumbai chances. Currently Mumbai are at the 4th spot with eight points that they have procured by winning four of their eight matches so far.

Meanwhile, Kolkata will look to extend their winning streak against Mumbai. Kolkata got off to a flying start in the UAE leg of the IPL with a convincing victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Riding on a scintillating bowling performance by the mystery spinner Varun Chakrovarty and Andre Russell Kolkata mesmerized the spectators with a stellar show to beat Bangalore by nine wickets.

Both Chakrovarty and Russell picked up three wickets each, conceding 13 and nine runs respectively. Chakrovarty has impressed with his variations and exceptional bowling skills. He picked up 20 wickets in the last edition at an average of 20.

He also made his debut for India recently, where he impressed all at the international level as well. He is an important cog in the plans of Kolkata. 

Russell is one of the best all-rounders in the world cricket. He can chip in with useful contribution as well as can be an effective bowlers in the death overs.
After the victory, Kolkata climbed to the sixt spot with their third win of the season to reignite their bid for a play off spot.

After bundling out Bangalore for a paltry 92, Kolkata achieved the target for the loss of just one wicket in 10 overs due to which their run rate also improved. In batting, Kolkata will depend on the Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan.

If Gill and Venkatesh Iyer can give a solid start with a good opening partnership like in the last match, Morgan, Rana and Russell can propel the score to near 180 – run mark, which is a winning total on Abu Dhabi pitch.

With dew factor still not coming into play in any of the matches, batting first after winning the toss will be a viable option.

With not much dew falling still, bowlers have not complained about facing any difficulty in getting hold of the ball properly.

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