IPL 10 has reached its final stage and there are only two matches to go before we find out who the winner is. Rising Pune Supergiant were the first team to enter the final beating all odds by defeating the mighty Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. The match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru will be a close one and whoever holds their nerve will take on RPS in the final on Sunday in Hyderabad.
Mumbai Indians will be smarting from their defeat against the less fancied RPS and would like to start on a fresh note. MI Have always performed well against the Knight Riders in the IPL. This season Mumbai have outclassed Kolkata in both the matches and would be confident of keeping the form going.
Players to watch out for MI:
Lendl Simmons: The Trinidadian has always performed well for Mumbai Indians. Simmons seamlessly replaced Jos Buttler and has provided impetus to the Mumbai Indians’ batting. Simmons would fancy his chances against Knight Riders bowling attack, which consists of Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Lot will depend on Simmons’ aggression and what kind of tone he sets upfront.
Rohit Sharma: The Mumbai Indians captain has had a very poor IPL by his lofty standards. Sharma has struggled right through this IPL and has also got some dodgy decisions. The skipper has only scored 283 runs in 15 matches at a very low average of 23.58. The big stage might see Sharma bouncing back and has a very good record against the Knight Riders. Sharma would like to lead from the front and answer his critics to take his team into the IPL finals for the fourth time.
Jasprit Bumrah: Jasprit Bumrah has been a total revelation this season. The youngster has bowled exceedingly well at the death and has been the go to bowler for Rohit Sharma. Bumrah has picked up 15 wickets in 14 matches and has only conceded runs at just over seven. Bumrah would be high on confidence and would like to pick up wickets in the crunch game.
Kieron Pollard: The big West Indian is a big match player and has been very consistent this season. Pollard has batted well under pressure and when MI were 7 for 4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru, Pollard took his time and scored a match winning 70 off 47 balls hitting five maximums. Pollard relishes the challenge and with his athletic fielding will be an asset for the Mumbai franchise.
Kolkata Knight Riders have played exciting brand of cricket this season and narrowly missed out for this match if the rain had not stopped against Sunrisers Hyderabad. KKR started the tournament with a bang before losing their way. KKR have always performed poorly against MI and would like to change that in this crucial match.
Players to watch out for KKR
Chris Lynn: The Aussie has been the cornerstone stone of Knight Riders’ batting. Lynn started the tournament with a bang against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot and blasted 93 off only 41 balls hitting eight sixes striking at 226.82. Lynn then suffered a misfortune and injured his shoulder against MI and missed next nine matches. KKR would hope that Lynn continues the good form and takes them to another IPL final.
Sunil Narine: Sunil Narine is known for his bowling, but this season he has become a batsman who can bowl a bit. Narine scored the fastest fifty this IPL in just 15 balls (i.e. 2.3 overs) against the hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru. Narine might not be intimidating but he has been getting the job done for KKR. Chris Lynn and Narine complement each other well and KKR are much stronger when they both attack from the word go.
Gautam Gambhir: Gautam Gambhir doesn’t come across as your typical T20 player. He is not big, doesn’t hit big sixes or plays funky shots but Gambhir is currently the second highest run scorer (486 runs in 15 matches) and has also led KKR admirably. The Delhi lad plays spin very well and is an ideal foil for the stroke makers around him. Gambhir is an IPL veteran and scored over 4,000 runs, with 35 half centuries to his name. The match will come down to who holds their nerve and Gambhir always plays well when there is pressure and thrives on it.
Nathan Coulter-Nile: The big, burly cricketer from down under has bowled with pace and aggression this season. Coulter-Nile with his height and bounce will test the technique of batsman and has a knack of picking up big wickets. The Aussie has made a difference to the KKR line up and has picked up 14 wickets in seven matches. Coulter-Nile is also a handy batsman down the order and can smack a few with the willow.