No other side in this season has looked as complete and dominant as the Mumbai Indians have. The two-time IPL winners corrected all their flaws from the previous season as this time, their preparations seem quite apt and ideal. With 18 points already to their name and a match to go, Mumbai would be eager to wrap up the league stage with a victory and ensure that they play the qualifier right in their fortress of the Wankhede Stadium.
They are up against the Kolkata Knight Riders, who in their own den are a ferocious outfit. Known to choose horses for courses policy, this energetic outfit led by the veteran Gautam Gambhir too would look for a win in a bid to play the first qualifier and get two chances for the finals. With some really vibrant names in both squads, one can anticipate a thriller on cards when these two sides clash.
These two successful sides clashed more than a month ago at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 9th April, as a cracker of a contest was witnessed. Batting first, the Knight Riders piled up 178 on board, thanks to a stellar knock of 81 from Manish Pandey. Pandey’s knock included five boundaries and as many sixes.
Mumbai got off to a solid start, but Kuldeep Yadav caused some trouble in the middle order, causing the asking rate to shoot up. Young Nitish Rana stole the show, however, as his icy cool demeanour meant that the chase was always on. Along with Hardik Pandya, the two finished off the chase in style as more than 50 runs were scored in the last 3 overs. Rana was eventually named the Man of the Match.
Recent form this season:
KKR: L, W, L, L, W
MI: L, L, W, W, W
Krunal Pandya’s injury has hampered the team quite a bit but the Baroda all-rounder is expected to be fit for the fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders. Krunal has proven to be a vital cog for the Mumbai Indians as he has been quite economical with the ball and achieved decent success with the bat in the middle order.
Mitchell McClenaghan’s rough ride continued against the Kings XI Punjab as he was belted for plenty. Surprisingly, the Sri Lankan pace legend Lasith Malinga too was utterly off colour in the previous game. In a bid to test their bench strength, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Mitchell Johnson gets a game on the belter of a wicket at the Eden Gardens.
MI Predicted XI:
- L. Simmons 2. P. Patel (wk) 3. N. Rana 4. R. Sharma (c) 5. K. Pandya 6. K. Pollard 7. H. Pandya 8. H. Singh 9. M. Johnson 10. L. Malinga 11. J. Bumrah