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 – The Curious Case of Rahul Tripathi
KKR have played seven games thus far, winning four and losing three of them. However only in two of those matches did they play the same top-seven. To add to that, they have used four different “top-three” combinations in a mere 7 innings.
In a Twenty-20 game, the batting order is expected to be flexible. However, Rahul Tripathi’s case is rather odd. He made his IPL debut a few seasons ago and had a splendid record opening the batting for the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant franchise in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, he played down the order for Rajasthan Royals in 13/18 innings, and once he went back to opening, he straightaway hit a match-winning 80-odd to seal the playoff position for them.
As the table above shows, Tripathi in 4 matches this season has already played at three different positions. However, just a glance at his IPL record tells us he is best utilized at the top of the order.
Rahul Tripathi as opener: Inns 21 | Runs 656 | Average 32.80 | Strike-rate 140.47
Rahul Tripathi as non-opener: Inns 16 | Runs 239 | Average 18.38 | Strike-rate 129.89
There may be arguments for having changed this batting position in two of the four matches he’s played. However it’s clear that the position of opener suits him, and he should be back at the top of the order.
MI vs KKR Game Plan – Why is Lockie Ferguson still on the sidelines?
For years now, the Mumbai Indians have found so much success by implementing the double overseas pacer strategy. Johnson-Malinga, Malinga-McClenaghan, and this year Boult-Pattinson; this tactic of going with two out-and-out quicks in the eleven has been brilliant.
Unsurprisingly, other teams have now caught on and are implementing it themselves: DC going with the Protea duo of Rabada-Nortje and RCB playing Morris-Udana. Therefore it comes as little surprise that these three teams are top in the points table.
KKR themselves don’t have a bad pace attack, with Cummins in the Powerplay and Russell at the back end. However, as mentioned in the previous game-plan, the Knight Riders haven’t been too good at picking up wickets, and one reason is because Cummins hasn’t been penetrative.
This is where a bowler of Lockie Ferguson’s calibre could prove useful to Brendon McCullum and Dinesh Karthik. He is someone who can crank up the pace to high 140s, consistently bowl the hard length in the middle overs and nail the yorkers and bouncers in the slog overs. The New Zealand quick is perfect to play the role of middle-over enforcer and can also assist Russell in overs 17-20.