IPL 2020, KKR vs MI: Pitch report, stats and more
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in the fifth match of Indian Premier League (2020). The tourney moves to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, where the Rohit Sharma-led side lost their opening match against Chennai Super Kings. Meanwhile, the Knight Riders would want to begin their IPL campaign with a win. Here is the pitch report.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the pitch allows batsmen to play freely, owing to the flat nature. However, the surface here gets sticky as the match progresses, which thereby restricts the strokes of batsmen. This usually also allows the spinners to take over. While the temperature will hover between 30 and 38 degrees Celsius, the humidity level will be high.
In 2014, the IPL was shifted to the UAE as it clashed with the General Elections. A total of 20 matches were held in the nation, with the Sheikh Zayed Stadium hosting seven games. This time, the stadium will host 20 of 56 league matches.
In that season, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals had a 100% win record at the stadium. The two teams won two and three matches respectively. Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings also won a game each here. Interestingly, Mumbai Indians couldn't win a single game in the entire UAE leg. They lost to KKR by 41 runs in the opening encounter.
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium has hosted a total number of 45 T20 Internationals in the last ten years. Notably, the teams batting second have won 25 of them. The average first and second-innings scores are 137 and 128 respectively. Only one 200+ score has been registered by a team at this venue so far (IRE 225/7 vs AFG, 2013).
In the tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians failed to capitalize upon the start provided by Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma. Although Saurabh Tiwary fired a 31-ball 42, others couldn't step up. Also, the wicket seemed to have assisted both fast bowling and spin. Notably, Sunil Narine scalped four wickets in the 2014 encounter between KKR and MI.
In the impending game, it will be interesting to see how the spinners from both the teams fare at this venue. The likes of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar will certainly try to silent the Russell Storm. For KKR, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav would aim to disrupt the rhythm MI's middle order, that is studded with Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.