Knight Riders v Mumbai, IPL 2014, Cuttack May 13, 2014

Mumbai brace for KKR spin challenge


Match facts

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 03:43
Hattangadi: Narine v Pollard a key battle

Big Picture

Mumbai Indians have a lot more riding on the outcome in Cuttack, considering defeat could leave them needing to win all their remaining matches. So managing Kolkata Knight Riders' spin attack gains further priority. Sunil Narine and Co juggle between attack and defence quite well and it will fall upon the Indian batsmen to circumvent them.

Rohit Sharma has had trouble deciding whether to open or not, but with Knight Riders known spin threat in the middle overs, he might remain at No.4. Mumbai will need him and Kieron Pollard to provide acceleration late in the innings. Their other resources - Corey Anderson has not looked comfortable without pace on the ball, CM Gautam is a rookie at this level and Lendl Simmons tends to be hit or miss - do not inspire much confidence.

This is the 40th match of the IPL and Knight Riders are yet to pitch camp at Eden Gardens. Wednesday's encounter with Mumbai Indians was supposed to be their first home game, but security constraints have forced relocation. Homesickness, though, would be the last thing troubling Gautam Gambhir's men after defeating table toppers Kings XI Punjab at the Barabati Stadium on Sunday.

After a slew of shaky starts, Knight Riders have found a reliable top order and have reaped four wins. Robin Uthappa was unsure when to accelerate and when to accumulate in the middle order, but as opener he has found clarity. Gambhir's form has been a welcome boost, both for himself and for the team. A captain as intense as him functions better when he knows his own game is in order. And with Knight Riders now among the top four, a sound tactician will be a prime asset.

Form guide

Kolkata Knight Riders: WWLLL (most recent first)
Mumbai Indians: WLWWL

Where they stand

Kolkata Knight Riders : 4th on the table with four wins in nine games
Mumbai Indians : 7th, with three wins in nine games

Previous encounter

The IPL began with Knight Riders spinners twisting the Mumbai line-up into knots. Sunil Narine claimed 4 for 20 to ensure the target of 164 was well beyond reach. But things had looked rosier for Mumbai when Knight Riders were starved of momentum until late in their innings. However, Jacques Kallis (72 off 46) and Manish Pandey (64 off 53) used the platform they had built to crack 73 in the last six overs.

Watch out for

Though Knight Riders have had the benefit of some solidity at the top, their middle order has been suspect. They have bungled winning situations on more than one occasion including a startling collapse of 6 for 2 in Ahmedabad. With the tournament heading into it's business end, one of Shakib Al Hasan or Ryan ten Doeschate needs to take control.

Mumbai's most recent victory was hailed as "clinical" by their captain. The top order is stepping up and Ambati Rayudu has slowly built himself into form and seems to have collared the No.3 spot. The pitch at Cuttack usually supports the batsmen, but he will know he has looked clumsy against extreme pace and that Kolkata have three genuine quicks in their squad.

Stats and trivia

  • Mumbai Indians' openers are yet to post a fifty-run partnership. Their highest was 25 against Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • Kolkata Knight Riders' spinners have taken 27 wickets (economy rate 6.45), the best tally among all teams in the season so far


"I want to score a half-century in every game and get my team off to a flier at the top of the innings."
Mumbai Indians opener Lendl Simmons on his gameplan

"In any format of the game, to contain batsmen you have to pick wickets. So that's what I think most of us are looking to do. We are not worried about getting hit for sixes or fours."
A peek into Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Piyush Chawla's mental make-up

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on May 14, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    actually narine is not a mystery now but still a very good spinner... don't forget Simmons and pollard would have played narine many times since they all play for Trinidad.. rohit and rayudu have been around for so many years in the IPL. its about the right guys playing narine so that they can milk 28-30 runs without giving him a wicket ... gautam/ Simmons/ rayudu/ rohit/ pollard/ anderson/ tare/ bhajji/ praveen/ bumrah/ malinga

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    Great going! @ black_bird, you certainly deserve a market value!!!!!

  • Riaz on May 14, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    Shakib awaited...If it is spin friendly bring Shakib in place of Tendo.

  • Black on May 14, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    People are forgetting the market value of kallis. What shakib got pertaining to the market of ipl?. none. It does not matter who plays good or bad. Only thing that really matter is earning profit by drawing crowd. And kallis or other overseas player are better than shakib at it.Hope you guys can understand now.

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    As a kkr fan i should propsed to send shakib at no 3 to bat. No doubting he is a good bowler and all rounder. There are no reason to drop shakib. Hope, shakib playing today and following all matches.

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    I think KKR should not keep the same squad , Sakib should be in place of Tendo he wasn't that much effective from last few matches we had seen . My playing XI 1) Gambir 2)utthapa3)pandey4)Sakib5)kalis6)Morkel7)yadev8)chawla9)yousuf10) Narine 11) surya would be better for spinning track . Good luck KKR

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    i think kallis should drop, he is ligend but not performing. and place your players where they like best. don't try to make sakib yousuf and uttapa a finisher, they can but u can't expect a high from them. like uttapa, sakib and yp can make u more win and effective at no-3 and no-4. give finisher role to tendo and suriya, hope they will make a quick 30-40 when needed. sent panday when quick fall of gambir, uttppa, sakib (any 2 wickets in five over)

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    mumbai must play pk in place of ojha and must look for early wickets as there openers are in good team for today-simmons,gautam,rayudu,rohit,corey,kp,bhajji,pk,tare,bumrah,malinga.mumbai must play narine safely by not attacking him and look to hit other bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Oh my god Malinga is not playing anymore. He is doing nations duty. Very good. Now Mumbai can win any team very easy

  • Parnal on May 14, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    KKR should go with the same squad. If it is spin friendly bring Shakib in place of Morkel.

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