Mumbai aim for an improved show against Kolkata at the Eden.
Kolkata : Mystery spinner Sunil Narine’s return will enable a confident Kolkata Knight Riders to tighten the noose when they take on a shaky Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League cricket tournament encounter, here today.
Both the Knights and defending champions MI were a part of utterly lopsided campaigns in their respective lung openers. While Knights clinically decimated Delhi Daredevils by 9 wickets having bowled the opposition for a sub-100 score, the Mumbai Indians were at the receiving end with league debutants Rising Pune Supergiants giving them a sound thrashing by 9 wickets.
Narine, who had left for the Caribbean after his father’s demise is back in Kolkata, and with clearance from the ICC will like to forge a lethal combination with Brad Hogg, if both are picked as overseas recruits.
That apart, KKR has the perfect winning combination in place even if that would mean a heartbreak for Shakib Al Hasan. This will be KKR’s last match at the Eden this month as they will hit the road for six successive away matches with West Bengal in the middle of the Assembly polls as Gambhir’s men cannot afford to let go the crucial two points at home.
If Mumbai Indians, who had won their two IPL titles at this venue in 2013 and 2015, will have to bounce back from the defeat against debutants Pune Supergiants in the IPL opener, the onus will be on their batters.
It will be skipper Rohit Sharma who will have to lead by example up front at the same venue where he had scored an ODI world record 264. With their team think-tank boasting the legendary duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting to go with a star studded line-up captained by Rohit Sharma, there’s an overflowing of talents in the most decorated dressing room. It will be all about channelising them to bring out the best XI something that had come in for much debate following their debacle at home.
West Indies big hitter Kieron Pollard, looked out of sorts in his one from eight balls as he would need a couple of games to get his eye back. The exclusion of Corey Anderson who could have been a better option for Mitchell McClenaghan also came as a surprise so as that of Parthiv Patel who has had an impressive domestic season. Mumbai Indians may also have to rethink their bowling strategy too.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Colin Munro, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, John Hastings, Brad Hogg, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Chris Lynn, Jason Holder, Kuldeep Yadav, Manan Sharma, Ankit Rajput, Rajagopal Sathish, Jaydev Unadkat, Sheldon Jackson.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Lendl Simmons, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, R Vinay Kumar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Corey Anderson, Unmukt Chand, Marchant de Lange, Kishore Kamath, Siddhesh Lad, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Jitesh Sharma, Nathu Singh, Tim Southee, Jagadeesha Suchith and Akshay Wakhare.