Preview: M7 - MI vs KKR
Mumbai Indians will play their first home match of VIVO IPL 2017 when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 7. The teams are coming off contrasting results in their respective season openers. While MI lost a close tie to Rising Pune Supergiant, KKR sauntered to a 10-wicket win against the Gujarat Lions.
MI will do well do shrug off their habit of starting slow and then playing catch up; they are playing this match at home and will be keen to get their first win on the board and build on that momentum. KKR, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir, have always been seen as a focussed team from the word go, with the captain generally leading from the front. KKR momentarily occupy a place at the top of the table, and they will want to add another win before they get to the familiar conditions at the Eden Gardens.
09 April 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Jos Buttler batted in the middle order last season, but was pushed right to the top in the opening game, and the Englishman wasted little time in making an impact. MI will hope Buttler, who smashed 38 from 19 balls in the opener and boasts of a career strike-rate of 148 in T20 cricket, can continue to get the team off to brisk starts. The MI captain Rohit Sharma will expect to make tall scores, while the likes of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya will be expected to cause plenty of destruction in very little time. On the bowling front, MI missed the experience of LasithMalinga and Harbhajan Singh; it is expected that the franchise will make place for at least one of them in this match.
After his exploits with the bat in the opening game, much will be expected of Chris Lynn. It was a surprise to see Lynn walk out to open the innings, but the Australian justified the KKR management’s decision after he smashed a 41-ball 93 and stitched together a record opening partnership with his captain.
Match within the match
Rohit Sharma against Sunil Narine promises to be an interesting contest in this match; the Trinidadian has dismissed the MI captain on four occasions in the IPL.
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 18, Mumbai Indians Won – 13, Kolkata Knight Riders Won – 5
At the Wankhede Stadium: Matches played – 6, MI Won – 5, KKR Won – 1
LasithMalinga is the highest wicket-taker in the IPL; he has 143 in 98 IPL matches for the Mumbai Indians.
The four IPL matches played at the Wankhede Stadium last season were all won by the teams chasing targets.
For Mumbai Indians: Home Fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad, 12 April 2017
For Kolkata Knight Riders: Opening Home Fixture against Kings XI Punjab, 13 April 2017