Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be the eighth and final team in the competition to begin their campaign in the thirteenth edition of Dream11 Indian Premier League when the two-time champions will lock horns with Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The fifth match of the IPL is crucial for both the teams. While Mumbai Indians will aim to notch up their first win after losing by five wickets against Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener at the same venue last Saturday, KKR will be eager to kick start their bid on a perfect note.
It will be a fascinating battle as both the teams have some big names in their respective squad. Together Mumbai Indians and KKR have won six titles between them in the 12 years history of the cash-rich competition.
Despite emerging champions twice, KKR have always found it very tough to negotiate Mumbai Indians over the years. In fact, Rohit Sharma’s side has proved to be a nemesis for KKR as they have managed to win just six matches out of total 25 against four-time champions MI. It must be one of the poorest head-to-head records among the IPL teams.
Barring 2014, when KKR for the first time defeated MI twice in one season, rest of the time it was MI who used to dominate the Dinesh Karthik-led outfit.
Mumbai Indians, who are traditionally slow starters in the IPL, received a jolt when they lost their opening tie. The last-over loss against CSK meant they prolonged their misery in the UAE to six games without a win. MI had lost all their five matches in the UAE when the IPL’s first part was held there in 2014.
With their opening game blues out of the way, MI will be determined to ensure that they halt their losing sequence in UAE and start registering points on the table. Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — will be key players for the defending champions.