Abu Dhabi, Sep 22 | Mumbai Indians (MI) consist of world-class players and that is why it is good for us to play the four-time champions early in the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik said on Tuesday.
KKR will open their IPL 13 campaign against the Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday. The two teams have faced each other 25 times and the Kolkata-based franchise has won only six matches.
“They (Mumbai Indians) have a team of world-class players; they are a strong lineup and the number of IPL titles they have won shows that. It’s good that we are playing Mumbai early in the tournament. Every year is a different year. I am sure it will be a great game tomorrow,” said Karthik during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
Karthik also hinted that Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine will be opening the batting for KKR. “Shubman is a quality player. I am sure he will exceed all expectations and it’s good to have him. Gill and Narine make a good opening combination,” he said.
Talking about the bowlers in his squad, the wicketkeeper-batsman said it was important for his team to choose the right XI.
“We have had conversations about the speed that the spinners need to bowl here. We have spoken about it, every franchise must be talking about the speed and length spinners need to bowl in the UAE,” said Karthik.
“All Indian pacers are shaping well. It will be hard to decide as to who will start the tournament. They have come around nicely. We are in a good shape. It’s important we as KKR choose the right XI.”
Speaking during the presser, Eoin Morgan stated that he was ready to do the job of a finisher whenver he was required to.
“I think with the squad we have, it gives us a lot of options in both batting and bowling. I think within the squad we have a number of versatile cricketers. I know Andre Russell has played the role of a finisher for KKR. Hopefully, if I do get the role of a finisher, I will do that,” said Morgan.
Mumbai Indians had begun their tournament campaign against Chennai Super Kings on September 19 when they suffered a five-wicket defeat, and would look to earn their first win in their second game.