Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Kolkata

Stumbling teams look to revive campaigns

The Preview by Nikita Bastian

April 23, 2013

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

April 24, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)


Sachin Tendulkar drives towards the bowler, Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians, IPL, Delhi, April 21, 2013
Happy 40th for Sachin Tendulkar? © BCCI
Enlarge

Big Picture

Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians. Defending champions and the most high-profile line-up in the IPL. A third of the way into IPL 2013, they sit at No. 6 and No. 7 on the points table. That in itself might not be too alarming at this stage, given how teams can flit up and down the table in the space of a couple of games; more worrying for the sides would be their performances in their previous two games. While Knight Riders failed to win key moments with the ball and close out the games when ahead, Mumbai Indians looked completely hapless in theirs, losing by 87 runs and nine wickets.

Both teams have selection matters to mull. Knight Riders will have to decide whether to allow the big-hitting Brendon McCullum a chance ahead of Eoin Morgan, though that seems unlikely. Captain Gautam Gambhir hinted on the eve of the match that Knight Riders would stick with Morgan - who has been doing well for the team - as it was a choice between wanting "McCullum at the top or a finisher in the middle". Mumbai Indians captain Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, will once again have to see whether he fits into his team's line-up at all.

The game comes with a subplot: it coincides with Sachin Tendulkar's 40th birthday. The Cricket Association of Bengal and Mumbai Indians' management have several plans to celebrate the occasion, including a 40-pound chocolate cake reportedly made of cocoa from Ghana and Madagascar. Tendulkar - whose half-century in the previous game, against Delhi Daredevils, came at a strike-rate that is barely passable in Twenty20 cricket - and his team will be hoping for an on-field performance that does not mar the day's festivities.

Form guide

Mumbai Indians LLWWW (most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders LLWLL

In the spotlight

Gambhir apart, Knight Riders' Indian batsmen have been underperforming. As the captain pointed out, one of Knight Riders' main problems this season is "our middle-order which is not getting runs". In their six games Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan, two major cogs in their middle order, have averaged 21.50 and 14.80. Knight Riders bumped Yusuf up to the opener's slot in their previous match in a bid to get him back into form. They'll definitely need more from these two as the tournament progresses.

Mumbai Indians produced one of the poorest bowling performances in IPL cricket on Sunday. Munaf Patel, one of the more experienced bowlers in their line-up, was especially woeful, consistently straying on leg stump despite having fine leg up. He conceded nine an over. The rest of the line-up, Lasith Malinga aside, were even more expensive. A rejig is definitely on the cards.

Stats and Trivia

  • Lasith Malinga is five wickets short of the 200 mark in Twenty20 cricket. Only Alfonso Thomas and Dirk Nannes are ahead of him
  • Kieron Pollard needs two sixes to become the second player behind Chris Gayle to get to 250 sixes in T20s

Quotes

"We are playing good cricket. We are getting there gradually. All we need is a win. A victory would put our campaign back on track."
Mumbai Indians coach John Wright doesn't think his team is too far off track

"Playing as defending champions itself is the biggest motivation. Otherwise you should be sitting at home and watch others play. Wearing a KKR jersey itself is the biggest motivation. There are many more in the dressing room who are dying to wear the jersey."
Gautam Gambhir attempts to snap his flagging team back into action

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by vvksgr0311 on (April 24, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

Happy Birthday Sachin....

Posted by akshu_ on (April 24, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

Gambhir is a good captain as through his captaincy KKRwon last year, but he have to promote yusuf pathan at no. 3 or 4.and Mumbai Indians should give a winning match gift to Sachin Tendulkar.HAPPY BIRTHDAY SACHIN TENDULKAR

Posted by Princepurple1979 on (April 24, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Result of today's match is going to depend on how much balls Sachin faces. If KKR succeeds to ensure that Sachin faces a lot of balls without getting out, then half the job is over. Its sad to see poor Rohit & Dinesh Karthik having to make up for the failures and inconsistencies of its over hyped pair of openers!

Posted by SachinRao on (April 24, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

john wright must be high or watching highlights of previous editions. mi lost comprehensively and it aint good cricket for sure. jalaj saxena, dhawal or suyal shd play. maxwell or coulter nile shd come in for ponting. our bowling is the major weakness. pollard shd cm early.

Posted by Survivor4you on (April 24, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

My KKR Team : 1. Yusuf, 2. Gautam, 3, E Morgan, 4. Manoj Tiwary, 5. Kallis, 6. Das, 7. Shakib al Hasan, 8. Rajat Bhatia, 9. Sunil Narine, 10. Shami Ahmed, 11. Balaji.

Batsmen - Gautam, Morgan, Manoj Tiwary, All Rounder - Yusuf, Kallis, Shakib -al Hasan, R Bhatia Wicketkeeper - Das Bowlers - Balaji, Shami Ahmed, Shakib, Sunil Narine, Kallis, Yusuf,

Howz the selection, please comment

Posted by crickarr on (April 24, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

Both the teams are strong in spinning department, and have players like GG, MT, YP, SRT, DK, RS.. who play spin really well. A fascinating contest to watch

Posted by baranasai on (April 24, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SACHIN BOY_MAY GOD BLESS YOU TO PLAY MANY MORE GOOD INNINGS. GOOD LUCK We want to see a tough competition between these two talented teams and I want some young Indian Gun firing well today.

Posted by SlayerXI on (April 24, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

The key to success in IPL is to have your best 4 foreign players in the XI to support the local talent. Mumbai is still struggling to find the right combination. Ponting and Smith are too inconsistent to be part of the XI. On the other hand, Malinga and Pollard must always be part of the XI. On the current form, I would like to have Mitch in the XI always too. He has been bowling really well, swing and pace both. He can also be used as a pinch hitter just to surprise the opposition. The fourth spot must be a batsman to strengthen the top order. I would give MaxMillion a go at the top with SRT for few matches. He is a handy spinner too. My MI XI: SRT, Maxwell, Karthik, Rohit, Rayudu, Pollard, Surukumar, Mitch, Bhajji, Munaf and Malinga.

Posted by GRVJPR on (April 24, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

Promote yusuf ptahan up the order than wasting his hitting ability down the order

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

i think its better to take yousuf pathan out from the team

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