The first match of the IPL 8 to be held between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders to be played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata later tonight promises to be an exciting battle.
In this article, we look the starting XI and battles between players of these two teams.
Kolkata Knight Riders XI:
Gautuam Gambhir(C), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, SuryaKumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel.
Mumbai Indians XI:
Aaron Finch, Parthiv, Rohit Sharma(C), Ambati Rayadu, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Sheryas Gopal, R Vinay Kumar, Malinga, Josh Hazelwood.
Rohit Sharma vs Gautam Gambhir
Rohit Sharma will be looking to regain his touch during this IPL and has all the shots which makes him destructive while Gambhir has been out from the Indian team for long time. Rohit Sharma has played more T-20 and can play innovative compared to Gautam Gambhir. Rohit Sharma is much better batsman than Gambhir, but one aspect where Gambhir is miles ahead of Rohit is captaincy. Gambhir is not only more experinced but tactically a better captian than Sharma. So this battle evens out.
2. Aaron Finch vs Robin Uthappa
It is another battle to look out for in this opening match. Both Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa can provide explosive starts to their teams so that the middle order can build on it. Aaron Finch who played for Sunrisers last year has been bought by Mumbai this season. Robin Uthappa will look to continue his form like he did in 2014. This battle will be won by Uthappa since he has more knowledge of Indian pitches.
3. Parthiv Patel vs Manish Pandey
Parthiv Patel and Manish Pandey is an interesting battle as well to watch out for. Parthiv is an experienced T-20 player and can place the ball when and also has knack of taking advantage of first six overs, but Manish Pandey too is an improved player with fantastic season of Ranji cricket behind him. Manish Pandey scored vital runs in the finals of 2014 edition and has done well for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy. Manish Pandey will win this battle because of better form.
4. Ambati Rayadu vs Shakib Al Hasan
It is another great battle to look out for in this match. Shakib Al Hasan is great all rounder in the World and can be a great asset to any team as he can perform with bat and ball. With the pitch helpful for the spinners his four overs might decide the game while Rayadu is another promising young Indian player who has played for India and performed reasonably well. Rayadu has done wonders for the Indian team and needs to perform well if they have defeat KKR. I think Shakib has a better chance than Rayadu to win this one.
5. Corey Anderson vs Suryakumar Yadav
These two players are the hard hitters of ball. Corey Anderson has the ability to score quickly and put pressure on the bowlers with his powerhitting. In the last edition he played a crucial knock against Rajasthan Royals and helped Mumbai reach the playoff stage while Suryakumar is another young Indian talent which comes in middle order and has the ability to big shots. He comes in the middle and can give the team much needed momentum. Corey Anderson is much better player than SuryaKumar Yadav so no doubt who will win this battle!
6. Kieron Pollard vs Yusuf Pathan
If the teams require scoring at quick pace then there are no better players than these two. Kieron Pollard is a vital player for Mumbai as he can hit the ball a long way and create an impact. He can destroy any bowling attack with nonchalant ease. Yusuf Pathan is also another impact player for KKR. In the last edition he stroke the fastest 50. He needs to be consistent though. Kieron Pollard is much better because of fielding qualities.
7. Andre Russell vs Harbhajan Singh
Andre Russell comes in the lower order and smashes the ball a long way. He knows the situations well and just tores the bowling attack into pieces while Harbhajan can hit the ball a long way but knowing the quality of batting these days Harbahjan Singh batting looks weak.
8. Piyush Chawla vs Sheryas Gopal
This is another exciting battle to look out for. Piyush Chawala can bat a bit and bowls leg spin. He comes in the middle over’s and stop the flow of runs while Shreyas Gopal is a young Indian player which has shown promises with the ball. Both of the players will be look to perform well in IPL 8.
9. Sunil Narine vs Malinga
These two bowlers are the best T-20 bowlers in World especially in IPL. Sunil Narine has been cleared to bowl. In the last 2 editions he has been KKR’s prime bowler and nobody has been able to read the mystery spinner while Malinga has been the leading wicket taker in the IPL. He can bowl Yorkers at will and deceives the batsmen with his variations. I think it is 50-50 battle.
10. Umesh Yadav vs Vinay Kumar
It will be another exciting battle to look out for. Last edition Vinay Kumar was with Kolkata and this edition he is with Mumbai Indians. Vinay Kumar bowls well at the death and do not give batsmen the room to hit big strokes while Umesh Yadav bowls with pace. He can just unsettle the batsmen with pace. He needs to give early wickets to put pressure on the Mumbai Indians batsmen.
11. Morne Morkel vs Jasprit Bumrah
This is the last battle to look out for. Morne Morkel gives the option of extra bounce and pace. He can get the batsmen unsettled and does not give the batsmen room to hit the strokes as for Jasprit Bumrah he has one advantage of being an unknown quantity. Last season he surprised one and all with his unorthodox action and should conitnue to do the same this season. Morkel should on any day win this one with miles to spare.
Match Prediction: KKR banking on their home advantage has a distinct edge, but don’t rule out Rohit Sharma/Corey Anderson special. In the end though, KKR will do just enough to win this match.