Deadline: April 13, 7:30 PM IST
Kolkata have won only one out of the last 10 matches against Mumbai. The overall tally reads 6 wins in 27 matches. However, the current team—under Eoin Morgan—seem to have a different ideology. They will keep hitting even if wickets keep falling. They experienced a mini-collapse in the middle overs, but Dinesh Karthik’s creative 9-ball 22 brought them back into the game.
Mumbai, as has been the case since 2013, lost their opening game, although the match went down to the last ball. At one point, they were losing the game comprehensively, but it’s never over when Mumbai are playing. They, albeit dramatically, find ways to push the match down to the wire.
Kolkata: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar/Jayant Yadav, Marco Jansen, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Both teams have chinks in their bowling armour. Mumbai do not have impactful spinners, and can lose momentum from overs 6 to 12. Rahul Chahar isn’t consistent and Krunal Pandya often leaks runs. They thus have to rely heavily on the pace duo Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. On the other hand, Kolkata have a variety in their spin department: Morgan used Harbhajan Singh’s accuracy in the powerplay to curb the run flow, Shakib Al Hasan’s wily round-arm to exploit the slow conditions, and Varun Chakravarthy’s mystery spin to leave the batsmen confused.
Kolkata may have sorted out their death-over miseries by utilising Andre Russell’s yorkers, but that’s that. Prasidh Krishna and Pat Cummins haven’t been able to make impacts at the other end. Both, for that matter, are effective until death overs—only if there is swing on offer. They hit the pitch hard, and if there’s no movement, their economy can take a hit.
No batsman has scored more runs than Rohit Sharma against Kolkata. He has smashed 939 runs at an average of 46.9, including a hundred and 6 fifties. His strike rate of 133 may not be impressive, but he at least is an efficient fantasy player.
Rohit looked good against pace in the season opener and hence the pair of Prasidh and Cummins will have to punch above their weight to keep him on the back foot. The best tactic, however, would be to introduce Shakib against Rohit, who often plants his front foot on the leg-stump against leg-spinners and left-arm orthodox bowlers and makes his defence vulnerable. Come to think of it, it makes Shakib a significant player in fantasy cricket tonight. Given the way Kolkata want to play this season, Shakib might as well get to play a few deliveries at No. 7.
Mumbai want to manage Hardik Pandya’s workload carefully. He will be available to bowl a few overs, but for now, they believe Kieron Pollard as their best sixth bowling option. We witnessed how cutters were often used in the first game at the Chepauk Stadium. Pollard knows exactly when to use them. Choose your fantasy team wisely.