Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders, Qualifier-2 Preview

May 19, 2017

This is the biggest game of the IPL 2017 to be played just before the final on Sunday – Qualifier -2 – between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Mumbai Indians have always maintained a stranglehold on KKR, having won 15 of the last 20 games played between the two teams. This season too, Mumbai beat KKR on both occasions. KKR lost both matches from winnable positions.

Mumbai Indians however have had a poor run in recent games. One could say that they might have peaked too early and have slowed down since. Their defeat in the first Qualifer against Rising Pune Supergiant was really bad. It is like they were never in the fight in the first place.

But the stadium in Chinnaswamy, Bangalore has always been good to the Mumbai team. They have won most of the matches here. For this game, we expect Harbhajan Singh to be back. Harbhajan has been a standout performer for the Mumbai side this season, despite the fact that he well in his late 30s now.

Mumbai will have to leave out either Karn Sharma or Krunal Pandya for this game. Krunal is likely to get in as he is the better batsman of the two.

KKR have their own problems. They are without Manish Pandey, who suffered a side strain and has been ruled out not just out of the IPL but also out of the Champions Trophy to be played in England. Knight Riders may bring in Kuldeep Yadav instead of either Ishank Jaggi or Suryakumar Yadav.

Bengaluru has seen a lot of rain in recent weeks, and the forecast for Friday is the same – more rain. We expect something like what happened in the Eliminator, when the match was completed at 1:27 am, won handsomely for KKR by Gautam Gambhir.

There is no question that the team that bats second will have a big advantage because of the Duckworth-Lewis system. So the toss might well decide the match.

The Teams

Mumbai Indians: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Sunil Narine, 2 Chris Lynn, 3 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Yusuf Pathan, 6 Ishank Jaggi, 7 Suryakumar Yadav/Kuldeep Yadav, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Trent Boult

Watch Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Qualifier-2 of IPL 2017 tonight at 8 pm live on Sony Six!

 

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