Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians – Indian Premier League 5 – Match Preview
With the Indian Premier League 5 playoffs looming ever closer, the scramble to make it into the next stage of the tournament makes every match a crucial one, and the Mumbai Indians will be looking to secure themselves a spot as they take on the Kolkata Knight
Riders today on May 12 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Gautam Gambhir’s men are comfortable at the number two spot on the points table, having won 8 of their twelve matches, and are one victory away from playoff qualification. Another win will also propel them to the top spot on the table, which is currently
occupied by the Delhi Daredevils. The Mumbai Indians, however, are currently at number 4, having won 7 of their 12 matches, and are in need of a victory in order to have a shot at making it to the playoffs.
The Knight Riders go into the encounter fresh from a 6-wicket victory against the Daredevils, and have won all 5 of the last matches they have played. However, while Harbhajan Singh’s men suffered a 9-wicket defeat at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore
in their previous match, they also appear to be in good form, having won 3 of their last 5 matches. If the teams are to be compared, both have equally strong line-ups.
The Mumbai Indians’ batting order features James Franklin and Sachin Tendulkar as openers – while the former may pose a worry for the visitors (having scored just two runs during the last two innings he played), the veteran batsman looks to be in prime form,
having managed a 74 against the Chennai Super Kings on May 6. Rohit Sharma is expected to retain his number 3 spot, and despite having been dismissed for duck against the Royal Challengers, boasts fairly solid performances throughout the tournament, with 60,
50, and an unbeaten 73 among his best scores.
Wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik impressed in the team’s previous match with a top-score of 44, and batsman Ambati Rayudu is also bound to provide excellent support to the top six.
Kieron Pollard’s place at number 7 in the batting order is debatable, with the fiery young Windies batsman more suited to a position higher up in the order, which might enable him to contribute more effectively to the team’s total. Dwayne Smith, who has
only played two games for the Mumbai Indians so far, will be looking to improve on his most recent performance, having scored just 2.
The bowling attack boasts formidable Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who has yet to let his side down when in full form, and has claimed a total of 20 wickets in the 9 matches he has played so far. Medium-pacer RP Singh and spinner Pragyan Ojha are also promising
options, while skipper Harbhajan can also bolster his side’s spin attack if required.
The Knight Riders’ boast an equally solid line-up, with Gambhir and Brendon McCullum opening the batting for their side. The skipper has been a consistent opener for his team, with scores of 36, 56, 63, and 93 in the last 4 matches the team has played. The
Kiwi batsman, after an indifferent start to the season, has finally found his rhythm, as has Jacques Kallis at number 3.
With such a solid top three, the remainder of the batting line-up is hardly likely to feel any particular pressure, but the Knight Riders have the likes of Manoj Tiwary and Debabrata Das to fall back on.
The bowling attack will be spearheaded by Sunil Narine (whose mysterious spin has baffled many a batsman throughout the tournament, with 15 wickets in 9 matches, including a stellar 5/19 against the Kings XI Punjab) and Brett Lee, who is expected to give
the opposing batsmen a difficult time. Jacques Kallis and Rajat Bhatia are also bound to boost their team’s bowling attack in a big way.
The prospect of an exciting game at Eden Gardens faces the threat of being washed out, with thunderstorms expected in Kolkata today, while temperatures are likely to remain around 27 - 37° C.
Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI (probable):
1 Gautam Gambhir (captain), 2 Brendon McCullum (wicketkeeper), 3 Yusuf Pathan, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Manoj Tiwary, 6 Debabrata Das, 7 Laxmi Ratan Shukla, 8 Rajat Bhatia, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Pradeep Sangawan
Mumbai Indians playing XI (probable):
1 James Franklin, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), 6 Dwayne Smith, 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Harbhajan Singh (captain), 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 RP Singh, 11 Pragyan Ojha