Star Wars 2018, KKR vs MI: Chris Lynn vs Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has been sensational with the ball and with the bat for Mumbai Indians in the last three matches.

The additional responsibility given to Hardik Pandya by the Mumbai Indians team management has brought the best out of him in the last three fixtures. Hardik has scored 108 runs and taken six wickets in his last three outings, helping his team win back to back matches.

Against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday, Hardik was particularly good with the ball. He picked the wicket of Shubman Gill early in the chase and then, when Rohit Sharma brought him back into the attack after the second strategic timeout, dismissed Nitish Rana to bring Mumbai back into the contest.

Hardik is a player high on confidence ahead of Mumbai's crucial return leg fixture against Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

Hardik has bowled with the new ball in Mumbai's last two fixtures and been very successful, too. With the newly-laid Eden Gardens pitch favouring the pacers more than spinners, Hardik could once again be deployed with the new ball. In which case, he will bowl to Chris Lynn, who has not been at his marauding best this season even though he remains an important batsman for KKR at the top of the order.

Lynn has batted wearing a shoulder brace to protect his troubled right shoulder. This has inhibited him somewhat, by his own admission. Lynn has scored 277 runs in 10 innings so far, but he has certainly not been the force he was last season.

Lynn should enjoy batting on an Eden Gardens pitch which offers bounce quite similar to what the 'Gabba in Brisbane does. Lynn fell to a fairly innocuous short delivery from Mitchell McClenaghan on Sunday. Mumbai's ploy against him is likely to remain the same and Hardik, who likes to hit the deck hard, will provide a litmus test for Lynn.