Two sides who have made very different starts to their IPL 2022 campaigns meet in the one match in the competition on Wednesday as the Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Mumbai Indians in a heavyweight clash in Pune.
The Knight Riders haven’t dwelt on losing the final last season and have come out and won two of their opening three matches. The 2020 champions have maintained their tradition of starting slowly and have lost their opening two games.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders could have been forgiven for making a slow start to their season. They had to get over the disappointment of losing in the final last season and also there were a few key players who departed after that match and while they didn’t need to blood a whole new team, this is a side under new captaincy and had all the excuses they needed to make a slow start. That hasn’t happened though as they have won two of their opening three matches.
You could argue they haven’t really been at their best in those matches too, especially with the bat. Their top order haven’t really got going just yet but when you have the likes of Sam Billings, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine coming in deep in the batting order it isn’t exactly a disaster if the top order struggle. Naturally they will want those players to come to the party, especially as their bowlers look in pretty good touch so far.
We’ve been here before with the Mumbai Indians. It seems that no matter what they do they just can’t start a season in a positive fashion. That doesn’t mean that they can’t win the competition, they have come from a slow start to win the tournament on a couple of occasions but I’m sure they would much prefer to hit the ground running. The good thing is that after losing their opening two matches this isn’t new territory for them so they are unlikely to panic just yet.
The surprise has been that it is the Mumbai bowlers who haven’t hit their straps just yet. This is a team that have some wonderful bowlers but they have conceded 193/8 and 179/6 which is unlike them. They need to get to their work pretty quickly and if they do then they are likely to be winning matches because their batters have been in decent enough order in those opening two matches. They could do with a win here just to ease some of the pressure though.
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You only have to look back to the previous match to see that Andre Russell remains the key player for the Kolkata Knight Riders. There was talk of him having a shoulder issue but he showed when he fancies the job he can take any side apart and make any run chase manageable.
Tymal Mills hasn’t had the impact that he would have wanted in the tournament so far but there is a school of thought that the best way to get at Andre Russell is with out and out pace so he could be the man who is the Mumbai Indians hero here.
Sunil Narine hasn’t made a massive impact on this tournament yet but the longer it goes on the more impactful you would expect the West Indian to be. The pitches will start to tire a little and teams are going to have to go after him if this Kolkata seam attack continues to deliver the goods. When you consider it is likely to have Pat Cummins added to it here then there is certainly no reason to think that it won’t keep looking strong.
That makes me think that the performance of Narine is worth taking here. It is pretty low at 27.5 when you consider he is a lock for four quality overs with the ball, and he might even bowl early because he has a wonderful record against Rohit Sharma. He is also more than useful with the bat and while he hasn’t been needed in two of the three matches so far this season he will come good with the willow at some point. Throw in that he’s a decent enough fielder and I think the over can land on this performance line.
Back S.Narine’s Performance – Over 27.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365