Mumbai: It has been a season of misfortune for Mumbai Indians. With only three wins in nine games, they will face a steady Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday afternoon here at the Wankhede stadium. A win would keep Mumbai in the play-off race.
Both sides enter the game high on confidence on the back of their successful run chases. While Dinesh Karthik and young Shubhman Gill inspired Kolkata to a thumping win over table-toppers Chennai Super Kings, Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya took Mumbai past Kings XI Punjab.
For the defending champions, Suryakumar Yadav has been in good form having already scored 340 runs. The other opener, Evin Lewis, hasn't really lived up to his billings.
KKR batsman Robin Uthappa made it clear that they were not taking Mumbai lightly despite their poor form. “I don't think we are perceiving it from that point of view. We're looking at where we are coming from and what we want to achieve. So, I think the perception is that we have a number of games to go and we need to win a certain number of those.
“For us, it is taking it one game at a time and keeping our goal in the mind. We want to definitely finish in the top-two. So keeping that in mind, we'll work our way up to that place,” said Uthappa.
What used to be an experiment for KKR a couple of seasons ago has now become a regular practice with Sunil Narine opening the batting order. The spinner has given fruitful results to Kolkata while appearing at the opening spot but he could face trouble against Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan who seem to be in fine form. Uthappa feels that the West Indian has always been a batsman but his bowling surpasses the mettle with the bat.
“Sunil is someone who is always enjoyed batting, someone who's always been a batsman who can bowl than a bowler. But what he bowled and what he does with his bowling skill is that his batting got overshadowed. So he could always bat and when we saw that, open the batting tat the top of the order, we saw that he can utilise the powerplay so well with the way he bats,” added Uthappa.