All five matches played by Mumbai Indians on their home ground so far have been won by them in the IPL 2013. It appears that even though Kolkata Knight Riders are cutting it fine for a berth in the playoffs, they are yet not out of the IPL race. At the Pepsi IPL 2013, if they had not been defending champions, they would have already been written off. A lot is being expected from the KKR team as far as pushing the Mumbai Indians team at the 7th May match is concerned. The match is to be played at the Wankhede Stadium and the so far the MI team has won only five IPL cricket matches. They achieved the most unlikely result possible during the last match played when they gained a victory by 60 runs over Chennai Super Kings.
KKR team needs to be aware that with a superb performance of that kind, the reputation as well as morale of almost any team can be raised. Everything seems to be in fine fettle, apart from the struggle of identify the best seamer at number three, from Pawan Suyal, Munaf Patel, Rishi Dhawan and Dhawal Kulkarni who have all been tried and the poor form of Sachin Tendulkar at the batting order at the top. The Mumbai Indians team has many pluses and just one and a half minuses.
As far as the bowling attack from the KKR team is concerned, Dwayne Smith, bowler has done quite well more often thus ensuring some great memories for the team. Just 15 days back, in Kolkata during a 45 ball 62 with five sixes and three fours, he tore apart the bowling attack from the Kolkata team. In the middle order there are three pillars including Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Smith, even if Dinesh Karthik’s form has been seen dipping down from where it was at the beginning of the tournament. During the last few overs of the last innings, good care was taken by Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard.
Bowling of the Mumbai Indian bowlers is quite lethal which the Kolkata batsmen who misfire need to be aware of well. Mitchell Johnson has been consistent enough about picking up of wickets. Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh have been successful in striking regularly and have conceded runs at giving away, less than seven runs per over. Even if Lasith Malinga has not been too much amongst the wickets, but whenever he was given the ball, he has been keeping things tight.
The Kolkata team has a strong player line up. On Friday Yusuf Pathan too had a great innings against Kings XI Punjab. Captain of the Kolkata team, Gautam Gambhir never stopped backing Yusuf and has been extremely patient. Kolkata fans expect a lot from Yusuf from the remaining matches at the IPL tournament.
Gambhir earned some very good scores himself during the start of the tournament, but in the last 6 outings has scored just around 85 runs. Whatever he has lapsed on has been papered over as Manvinder Bisla dropped him during the few matches played initially. Since then, Manvinder has come out good, the prime reason and Jacques Kallis has been down and up with the bat. However, the batting of the Kolkata team ends with the absence of Manoj Tiwari even if Rajat Bhatia and the remaining lower order players have struck some meaty blows once in a while. KKR may not be out of the IPL tournament as yet, but the show is expected to run with great bowling form Kallis, Bhatia, Sachithra Senanayeke and Sunil Narine. Considering conditions where L Balaji and Bret Lee could be making a comeback the performance of MI is yet to be seen.
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