After a resounding nine-wicket victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening encounter of the second phase of the Indian Premier League 2021, the Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, 23rd September. 

A dominating performance led by three-wicket hauls from Varun Chakaravarthy (3/13) and Andre Russell (3/9) ensured the Bangalore outfit was bundled out for a below-par total of 92 in the first innings.  

The batting unit followed this stellar show by notching up an 82-run partnership for the first wicket between Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer. Making his debut for the boys in Purple and Gold, the southpaw attacked the opposition and smashed an unbeaten 41 off 27 balls to guide the team to a comprehensive win. 

With all bases covered, the Knights enter this all-important clash riding high on confidence. The Knights boast of a formidable middle order with the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell in the line-up. 

The bowling unit looks lethal, with Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine weaving their magic on the sluggish wickets on offer in Abu Dhabi. While Nairne was economical by conceding 20 runs in his quota of four overs, Chakaravarthy wreaked havoc in the middle overs to shut RCB out.

For the Mumbai Indians, one of the key factors heading into this crucial game would be the fitness of their two key players, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. The duo missed out on their last league match against the Chennai Super Kings due to niggles, and it would be interesting to see if they take the field in this clash. 

With the wickets conducive for spinners in Chennai and UAE, the defending champions have struggled with firepower in the batting department. While the team has several free-flowing stroke players in the ranks, the sluggish nature of the wickets has led to their downfall. 

The onus of the side relies heavily on the bowling unit led by Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult to create inroads early in the innings and set up the game for the team. While they managed to derail the batting unit of the Super Kings by picking up four early wickets, they let the match drift away in the middle overs due to lack of spin bowling options.

KKR squad list:

Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer.

MI squad list:

Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Singh, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar