Mumbai Indians will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi for Match 34 of IPL 2021 Phase 2.

Mumbai Indians started their UAE leg with a loss against Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings by 20 runs despite dominating the first quarter of the game, and are now placed fourth in the points table, with four wins from eight games.


Their pacers broke through CSK’s top order and reduced them to 24-4 at the end of the powerplay. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad stood firm and played an amazing inning of 88 runs off 48 balls. Bravo and Gaikwad helped CSK cruise through to a respectable total of 156-6, which in that wicket was good enough for a first innings score.


Although Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya were not available for this game, Mumbai Indians had enough firepower to chase down the target.

However, an unacceptable start and some poor shot selections from their key batters let them down. Mumbai Indians had an uphill task ahead. Eventually, they fell short by 20 runs, with Saurabh Tiwary remaining unbeaten on a 40-ball 50.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders got their UAE leg off to an excellent start by hammering RCB by nine wickets and handing Kohli’s men an embarrassing loss to start the tournament.

After losing the toss and having being put to the ball first, Eoin Morgan’s side put RCB under immediate pressure by dismissing their captain Virat Kohli early and keeping the run rate down throughout their innings.

They kept the pressure on, getting another wicket at the end of the powerplay which was followed by a landslide of wickets.


Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy combined well in the middle overs to run through RCB’s batting. While Russell bowled Mr. 360 Ab de Villiers round his legs through a toe-breaking yorker, Varun Chakravarthy got the better of RCB’s middle order, getting the prime wicket of Glenn Maxwell, followed by Wanindu Hasaranga and Sachin Baby.

Eventually, RCB were soon bowled out for 92, setting KKR an easy target to chase down. Their young openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer made batting look so easy and smashed Kyle Jamieson and co. all around the park. Their 82-run opening partnership helped KKR finish the game off in ten overs.

The last time MI and KKR met, KKR choked from a winning position to hand MI a ten-run victory. So they will look to avoid a repeat of the same. They have an opportunity to enter the top four with a win in this match, with the beginning of the crucial stage of the tournament.

MI will have to win this game and the games to be followed to get to the desired top four. So it will be a tough and competitive contest in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Date: September 23, 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 7:30 PM IST (6:00 PM Local Time)
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

KKR Predicted XI

KKR will mostly go into this game unchanged having won comprehensively on their opening match. Eoin Morgan’s side is very balanced and is a complete package and requires no change.


Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, and Prasidh Krishna.

MI Predicted XI


Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya are likely to be back to lead Mumbai Indians against KKR and will be available for the rest of the tournament, which means Anmolpreet Singh missing out. Saurabh Tiwary could make way for Hardik Pandya if the latter is fit, despite being the top scorer against CSK.

Mumbai Indians: Quinton De Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary/ Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, and Jasprit Bumrah.

KKR will mostly go into this game unchanged having won comprehensively on their opening match. Eoin Morgan’s side is very balanced and is a complete package and requires no change.

Players to watch out for

Rohit Sharma (MI)

The MI skipper missed the first game of the UAE leg against CSK. If he is fully fit and plays, which he more likely is, he’ll be a player to watch out for. His batting record against KKR is stupendous – 939 runs in 27 games at an average of almost 47.

Kieron Pollard (MI)

The big and explosive Caribbean all-rounder, who also captained the game against CSK is a vastly experienced campaigner and has the potential to turn the game on his head one-sidedly, which we saw in the game against CSK in Phase 1.

Andre Russell (KKR)

The hard-hitting all-rounder had a great game against RCB with the ball. With his bowling improving a lot in the recent years with the injury-prone action that he has, He’ll come out as a complete package against his opponents, both with the bat and ball.

Suryakumar Yadav (MI)

The in-form top-order batsman had a forgettable outing against CSK. But he will be raring to go against his former team KKR.

Shubman Gill (KKR)

The stylish opener from Mohali got back into form after his injury in the previous game against RCB. He will look to continue that form into this match.

Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

The Indian yorker specialist has been in terrific form in the recent past. He will look to continue the same form tonight, and take some crucial wickets for his team!

Varun Chakravarthy (KKR)

The leggie from Tamil Nadu, who was also the Player of the Match in their match against RCB with figures of 3/13 is always a favorite. Being a quick spinner, the Abu Dhabi pitch will be the icing on the cake for him.

Quinton De Kock (MI)

The South African wicketkeeper, who also opens the batting, is very lethal in the powerplays with his ability to clear the inner ring with very sweet timing and elegance. After failing to make a mark against CSK in their opening game, he will surely be looking to make his mark and prove his worth.


Prediction

Having won their last game comprehensively and going into this clash with great confidence, KKR will have a slight edge over MI on this one with more in-form players. Who’s your pick?

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