IPL 2020: 3 changes Mumbai Indians should make in their playing XI against the Kolkata Knight Riders

IPL 2020: 3 changes Mumbai Indians should make in their playing XI against the Kolkata Knight Riders

MI lost their opening game to CSK by five wickets.

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Only a few games into the season, and fans have already lived through a final-over finish and a super-over; it’s fair to say that the 2020 IPL has got off to a flying start. But the same cannot be said about Mumbai Indians (MI), last season’s champions.

In their opening match against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last Saturday, the MI team couldn’t live up to its stellar reputation. There were a few, visible areas of concern with the team and its on-field performance; some of them directly responsible for the five-wicket defeat against CSK. 

That said, the MI paltan shouldn’t be fretting just yet- they do tend to start slow, especially on even-numbered years. But there’s no doubt captain Rohit Sharma and his blue brigade would be eager to get back to winning ways in their next match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

MI would be eager to maintain their stellar, 19: 6 win-loss ratio against the KKR, and to achieve that, they might have to tinker with their incumbent combination.

So here’s a look at three tactical changes the Mumbai Indians could use in their upcoming clash against KKR: –

1) Use Kieron Pollard’s skillsets optimally

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard. (Photo: IANS)

Pollard, the current captain of the West Indies LOI teams and Mumbai’s vice-captain, has been associated with Mumbai since 2010. His best innings for MI have come lower down the order- typically at number six or seven- where he has flourished as a hard-hitting finisher. Against the CSK too, Pollard walked in to bat at six at the 14th over, with MI expecting him to rip Chennai’s bowling apart. 

But the move didn’t work well, as Pollard finished with only 18 runs from 14 balls. He struck a couple of boundaries, but it was clear that he would’ve scored more briskly had he arrived to bat a bit earlier. Which is exactly what the MI management should consider doing for the next match.

In recent times, Pollard has fared much better batting at two-down or three down positions. The added time at the crease allows him to read and grasp the match situation well; which, in turn, allows him to take the game deeper and unleash his pyrotechnics when the team most needs them.

Besides promoting his batting position, skipper Rohit Sharma should also start reconsidering the Trinidadian as a genuine bowling option. Pollard’s stunning all-round brilliance at the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League even earned him the Man of the Series award there.

And while his swashbuckling batting was the more dominating aspect; his tally of 8-wickets- including a 4-for against St. Lucia Zouks in the final- were extremely crucial to Trinibago Knight Riders’ (TKR) 12 win-streak campaign.