The fifth game of the ongoing IPL tournament features two very interesting teams, the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians.  Both the teams have the talent and the firepower. KKR will be looking to continue their winning streak after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad in a thrilling contest, while Mumbai Indians will be looking to bounce back after their defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the first day of the tournament.

Before, we get to my prediction (which is always right) let’s take a look at the previous encounters between these two teams.

27 matches have been played between these two teams, with Mumbai Indians winning the majority of them. Mumbai have won a massive 21 time, while KKR has only been able to beat Mumbai on 6 different occasions. KKR has had a high score of 232 while Mumbai’s was 210. During the 2017 season, the two teams played against each other 3 times, with Mumbai Indians winning all three. Even in the inaugural edition of the IPL, Mumbai had defeated KKR twice. Astonishingly, the first time KKR beat Mumbai was in the 2010 edition of the IPL. Therefore, considering their previous encounters, Mumbai definitely has the upper hand. But I doubt whether any player is going to care too much about this.

As mentioned, both teams have the firepower required to not just win this match, but to win the tournament as well.

Against RCB, MI scored a decent 159. Rohit Sharma was getting inform when that unfortunate run-out happened. I can bet you that, if that run-out didn’t happen, Rohit would have scored at least a half-century. However, players like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan showed us that even if their captain was not there, they could very well carry the team. Chris Lynn also showed glimpses of his talent. The Mumbai batsmen have the firepower and they are just waiting to explode into the scene. The batting depth Mumbai has is really impressive. Rohit Sharma, Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and not to forget, Kieron Pollard. I’m certain, that against KKR, at least two of their batsmen will perform well. But, what surprised me more was how good Mumbai’s bowling is. As mentioned, 159 is a good score, but for a team like RCB, it’s nothing. But the Mumbai bowlers kept the pressure on them, and the game was 50-50 till the very last bowl.  Trent Boult, Krunal Pandya, and the 20-year-old South African, Marco Jansen, all played brilliantly during that match. And then, there is Jasprit Bumrah. I mean what can I say about him, his 2/26 speaks for itself. Just when Virat Kohli was starting to look dangerous, Bumrah managed to get him out. And again, when RCB looked comfortable to win the game, Bumrah got yet another wicket and put the pressure back on them. Truly impressive.

On the other hand, the match between KKR  and the Sunrisers Hyderabad was something else. KKR batted first and just went guns blazing. Nitesh Rana scored 80 runs off just 56 balls. He showed great character and composure and when others around him were getting out, he stayed cool and batted like a pro. Also, Rahul Tripathi showed his skills with the bat that night. He smashed a quickfire 53 in just 29 balls. The rest of the Kolkata Batsmen weren’t that great that night, but that does not mean they don’t have the talent, the talent is very much there. We have seen Andre Russel’s and Dinesh Karthik’s hitting abilities, so do not write them off. Now coming to the bowling department. The bowlers had to bowl to some of the deadliest and destructive batsmen, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow. But, I must say they did a good job. Out of the lot it would probably have to be, Prasadh Krishan who impressed the most. His 2/35 was really impressive, but also the fact that he got David Warner, one of the most dangerous batsmen ever out, shows us that he has the fight and vigor in him. Pat Cummins, Andre Russel, and Shakib Al Hasan also bowled really well. KKR has the right blend of youth and experience, which makes them a really dangerous side.

Now, coming to my prediction. What I think is for either team to win, their bowling department must be on point. If the bowlers cannot execute their plan well, then the game is long gone, and this is applicable to both teams, Why I say this is because, both the teams have explosive batsmen, who will pounce on a loose ball. Players like, Virat, Rohit, ABD, can turn even a good ball into a boundary, whereas, majority of the KKR and MI batsmen, will be looking for that loose ball that they can just smash out of the ground. This is going to be a match between the two bowling departments. However, I am backing Mumbai to take home the victory, the team will be looking sharper and hungrier after their first loss. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a cracker of a game.