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Mumbai aim to do the double over Kolkata

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Mumbai will be eager to return to the summit of the 2020 Indian T20 League points table when they go up against Kolkata at Abu Dhabi on Friday. The four-time champions will go into the contest on the back of four consecutive wins and they will be confident about their chances of claiming another victory, having already beaten Kolkata once this season.

Kolkata, meanwhile, will be hoping to get a win themselves after losing their last encounter to Bangalore. The two-time champions find themselves fourth in the standings and will want to strengthen their position in the top four with a win on Friday.

A look at the head-to-head makes for terrible reading if you are a Kolkata fan. Mumbai have been Kolkata’s bogey team over the years and the defending champions enjoy a head-to-head advantage of 20 wins, while Dinesh Karthik’s men have managed to win just six matches against the league’s most successful team. Here’s a closer look at some of the key battles and players who could have an impact on the match.  

Karthik’s surprising numbers against Mumbai’s bowlers

Kolkata skipper Karthik hasn’t had the best of seasons with the bat so far and delivered in just one match during which he scored 58. However, a look at his record against Mumbai’s bowlers suggests that he can play a key role if he can get going. Karthik, in fact, boasts a solid record against Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard.

Bowler

Innings

Runs Scored

Dismissed

Strike Rate

Krunal Pandya

5

17

2

80.95

Kieron Pollard

5

30

1

136.36

Trent Boult

3

22

1

157.14

Jasprit Bumrah

4

50

0

192.30

*Dinesh Karthik vs Mumbai’s bowlers

He has a strike rate of more than 130 against all three aforementioned bowlers. That said, Karthik has been dismissed once each by all of them in the 12 innings that he has collectively faced Boult, Bumrah and Pollard. Krunal Pandya is the only bowler from the Indian T20 League’s most successful team to have dismissed Karthik twice and the wicket-keeper’s strike rate against the left-arm spinner hovers around 80, making the Kolkata captain’s battle against Mumbai’s formidable bowling an interesting battle to keep an eye on.

In-form Quinton de Kock to pose a threat

After a slow start to the season with the bat, wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock has come into his own in Mumbai’s last few games. He’s scored two half-centuries in his last three innings and is currently Mumbai’s third-highest run-getter with 191 runs in seven innings. Kolkata’s bowlers need to get rid of him early like the last time that the two teams met or else they risk a hammering at the hands of the South African.

He’s been dismissed four times in the Powerplay this season and is averaging 130.76, which is substantially less than his strike rate of 171.42 in the middle overs. The left-hander’s especially a threat against the pacers and Kolkata must look to get his wicket within the first 10 balls of his innings if they want to apply the brakes on him.

Players to watch:

Mumbai – Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav has been playing with supreme confidence and will want to produce another strong showing when he walks into the middle against his former side. He’s Mumbai’s leading scorer with 233 runs at an average of 38.83 and a strike rate of 155.33. His 33 fours for Mumbai this year are almost double of what their next best batsman has managed and his strike rate of more than 200 in the death overs will be an area of concern for Kolkata’s bowlers.

Kolkata – Shubman Gill

Kolkata’s leading scorer this season with 254 runs, Shubman Gill holds the key for his side at the top of the order. An elegant and graceful talent, Gill has shown his consistency but needs to play more impactful and longer knocks if he wants to become a match-winner. He’s hit more fours (22) than any other player from his team this season and is averaging 42.33, making him his side’s main man with the bat against Mumbai as well as for the remainder of the tournament.

Stats to watch out for:

1: With one more 50+ score Rohit Sharma will have the joint-most 50+ scores against Kolkata in the Indian T20 League with Suresh Raina (8).

2: Kieron Pollard is 2 catches away from 300 catches in T20s. He stands to become the first player to reach this milestone.

4: Rahul Chahar is 4 wickets away from 50 T20 wickets.

6: Suryakumar Yadav needs 6 fours to complete 200 fours in the Indian T20 League.

56: Runs required by Rohit Sharma to reach 4000 runs in the Indian T20 League for Mumbai. He stands to be the first player to achieve this feat.

Writer’s pick:

Mumbai have looked like the team to beat this season and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down as the tournament has progressed. Rohit Sharma’s boys are once again frontrunners for another Indian T20 League triumph and a glance at their current form as well as their record against Kolkata only points towards another victory for them.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe

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