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IPL 2020: MI vs KKR Game Plan 1 – Kolkata’s New Ball Struggles

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MI vs KKR – The thirty-second match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the thirty-second game of IPL 2020 – MI vs KKR.

MI vs KKR Game Plan 1 – Powerplay Strategies for KKR

Kolkata Knight Riders have had mixed results and several close games in the first half of their tournament. Two of their defeats have been by big margins, and their last two victories have been by small margins, as a result of choking the opposition in the end of the innings with spin. While these two strangles against CSK and KXIP came on the back of death bowling, it remains to be seen how they fare in the earlier stages of the innings with the ball, especially the Powerplay.

KKR’s Powerplay numbers are not pretty to look at. Their bowlers have the highest economy, highest bowling average and highest bowling strike-rate. To add to this, they have taken the least wickets in the Powerplay, 6 wickets in 7 innings.

 

In terms of Powerplay bowling, this looks like a terrible mismatch – the best bowling team up against the worst bowling team. KKR, however, have a chance of remedying that against Mumbai Indians. Since 2019, the Mumbai openers – Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock – have done well against pace upfront, but tend to struggle against spin in the Powerplay.

KKR vs MI Game Plan

KKR vs MI Game Plan – MI openers in powerplay

Rohit Sharma in particular has a glaring weakness against spin with the new ball. He scores at just 5.11 runs an over, and has been dismissed by spin 5 times in 14 innings, while scoring a mere 52 runs. Quinton de Kock doesn’t inspire much confidence either; although he has a much better average, the southpaw also scores well below a run-a-ball.

Furthermore, of the four times Rohit has been dismissed within the first six overs this season, three dismissals have come to spin. Three different types of spinners accounted for those wickets: Piyush Chawla (leg-spin), Washington Sundar (off-break) and Axar Patel (left-arm orthodox). All three came when Rohit attempted to loft the ball and looked for a boundary scoring option.

KKR are a team that has predominantly opted for a pace attack in the first six. However, taking into account the scoring rate as well as the dismissal rate of Mumbai openers, the Kolkata management might opt for spin against this particular opposition. In the previous match, Varun Chakravarthy was the only frontline spinner and he has majorly bowled in the middle overs.

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As Sunil Narine looks to be out for a longer while, and Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t looked in good rhythm this IPL, it might be worth it to hand a cap to Manimaran Siddharth – the slow left-arm orthodox bowler from Tamil Nadu – to bowl with the new ball against MI.