IPL 2018, Match 37, MI vs KKR, Match Prediction: Who will win the match today, Mumbai Indians or Kolkata Knight Riders?

The reigning champions are hosting the Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow and will be pumped up about that game as their record on the home turf has been absolutely dominating.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo by IANS)

The second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is effectively Mumbai Indians territory as they are known for suddenly upping their game in this phase of the tournament and shockingly turning the tables. They have done it plenty of times in the past and if the last game against the Kings XI Punjab was any hint, they seem to be starting to do that again which is not great news for their opponents in the upcoming games.

The reigning champions are hosting the Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow and will be pumped up about that game as their record on the home turf has been absolutely dominating. If they secure back to back victories and collect two more points here, they will be well and truly back in the race for the playoffs considering the fact that their Net Run Rate is pretty good as well.


Pitch and Conditions

The Wankhede pitch last game was really tacky where Hyderabad were able to defend a very low score. While it was two-paced, it also spun a fair bit and none of the batsmen found the stroke-play easy which was pretty unlike Wankhede as it normally is a wonderful batting surface and offers run fests to the audience.

The chances are slim that the pitch will be that tacky again. The ball might nip around early on as it always does at Wankhede, but the bounce will be true and even and it should be an easy-paced track. Because of the dew factor, chasing is the way to go at this venue.

Playing Combination

Mumbai Indians

Probable Changes – JP Duminy out, Mustafizur Rahman in

Mumbai are struggling to accommodate JP Duminy in the top order as they already have 4 top order batters in their line-up and the way Duminy goes about his job in T20 cricket, any spot lower than 4 is not ideal for him as he likes to spend a bit of time in the middle. So rather than wasting him down the order, Mumbai might like to play an extra bowler in Mustafizur Rahman who will also give Rohit Sharma a death bowling option.

Rohit has had to use Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya in the death in the absence of Mustafizur and both have gone for plenty of runs. If the Bangladesh left-armer is brought back, he can take up that job with Jasprit Bumrah who is proving to be magnificent for MI like always.

Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, Surya Kumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah

Kolkata Knight Riders

Probable Changes – Rinku Singh and Mitchell Johnson out, Nitish Rana and Tom Curran in

Nitish Rana will be an automatic pick for KKR if he is declared fully fit ahead of the game and he will walk in as the like-for-like replacement for Rinku Singh. However, he might not get the No. 4 position, given the kind of impact Shubman Gill made batting there last game. It’s very much possible that the KKR management keeps the youngster slotted at that position and drops Rana at 5.

Mitchell Johnson’s bowling has been extremely ordinary this whole tourney and he shouldn’t be getting another game with Tom Curran waiting in the wings. While Curran hasn’t set the stage on fire either in the couple of games he played, he has more variations in his repertoire in terms of his change of pace and Dinesh Karthik is better off going with him rather than persisting with a totally off colour Johnson.

Predicted XI: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Andre Russell, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav

Team Comparison

Mumbai Indians, despite all the games they have lost, is one of the most balanced teams in the tournament which is the reason why it’s still difficult to write them off. While KKR is also a mighty strong unit particularly with the bat, the fact that they rely on their spinners a lot might not help them at the Wankhede if the surface is not sticky. Wankhede is one of the smallest grounds in the country and if the spinners don’t get grip off the surface, they travel there more often than not.

Talking about death bowling, while Mumbai will have it all sorted with Fizz coming in, KKR might struggle on that front too as somebody like Mavi is pretty inexperienced, while Curran is coming off after a break and will be under a little bit of pressure.

Probable Top Performers

Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians), Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Head to Head

Matches – 21, Mumbai Indians– 16, Kolkata Knight Riders – 5

The timing of the match: 04:00 pm IST

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Select 1

Online – Jio TV, Hotstar

The prediction is for the Mumbai Indians to beat the Kolkata Knight Riders in this match.