KKR vs MI: More than just pride at stake as Kolkata take on Mumbai
The last time the two sides clashed, Kolkata Knight Riders consolidated the top-of-the-table spot on the back of the joint-fastest 14-ball half-century from Pat Cummins but have since come unstuck with only mathematical calculations keeping them alive after just four wins from 11 matches.
While Mumbai Indians are out of the race for a play-off spot, the five-time champions have managed to find some late momentum winning their last two games, one of them at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai, the venue for Monday’s game.
There have been individual brilliances for the Knight Riders to find inspiration from, not least the consistency in form of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, with the point-of-difference being their fielding as a collective unit. No side has a success rate higher than KKR’s 94.12, having taken 48 catches while dropping just 3.
However, there is plenty to work on in terms of their batting especially in the powerplay. Head Coach Brendon McCullum emphasised on the issue after the side’s 75-run loss against Lucknow Super Giants on Saturday (May 7).
"We've struggled in the powerplay, which has been a bit of a frustration for us right throughout the season," McCullum said at the post-match press conference.
"We've been good throughout the middle phase, not too bad at the death, but the powerplay, we've been a little stuck. We've got to find a method to not lose too many wickets [in the powerplay] and throw a few punches and pick up a few boundaries because at the moment we are sort of stuck in between and opposition teams are taking advantage of that.”
Finding the best playing XI to yield a favourable run of results will be on both sides’ agenda as the Knight Riders yet again attempt to keep their season alive in what could be Tim Southee's 50th IPL appearance.
KKR: Shreyas Iyer (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Aaron Finch, Abhijeet Tomar, Ramesh Kumar, Pratham Singh, Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson, Baba Indrajith, Pat Cummins, Mohammad Nabi, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Anukul Roy, Chamika Karunaratne, Aman Khan, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Umesh Yadav, Harshit Rana, Tim Southee, Ashok Sharma, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy
MI: Ishan Kishan(w), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Daniel Sams, Murugan Ashwin, Kumar Kartikeya, Jasprit Bumrah, Riley Meredith, Jaydev Unadkat, Fabian Allen, Basil Thampi, Anmolpreet Singh, Sanjay Yadav, Ramandeep Singh, Mayank Markande, Aryan Juyal, Arjun Tendulkar, Hrithik Shokeen, Rahul Buddhi, Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis