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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
April 30, 2009
Match factsMay 1, 2009
Revolutionary captaincy theories, and the more basic disciplines of batting and bowling have all misfired to leave Kolkata Knight Riders at the bottom of the table. Throw in the fact that in-form opener Chris Gayle has just one more game left before heading to England, and the rumours of an unhappy dressing room, things seem bleaker still for Kolkata. And they are up against the Mumbai Indians, a team which thrashed them earlier in the week in Port Elizabeth.
Mumbai will be looking for a repeat of that Monday mauling, and getting back to winning ways after their slip-up against Kings XI Punjab. Kolkata's captain Brendon McCullum has said that their main troubles have been at the start of the innings with both bat and ball, and worryingly for them those are among Mumbai's strongest points - openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, and new-ball bowlers Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan. In short, a win on Friday for Kolkata will be the most surprising result of the tournament so far.
Mumbai Malinga has been the stand-out player for them, with a bowling average (5.18) which is less than the economy rates of most bowlers. Add to that the fact that he gives away only 3.97 runs an over, and Kolkata have a fearsome opponent to deal with.
Kolkata Ishant Sharma has been pretty handy with the ball, and Gayle has been at his carefree best, but the trouble for Kolkata has been McCullum, who has yet to recapture the form that helped New Zealand ease to two Twenty20 victories over India earlier in the year.
Mumbai could go in with an unchanged line-up. The one change they may contemplate is getting in Ajinkya Rahane, who was prolific in the domestic season, in place of Shikhar Dhawan, who hasn't been putting in the solid performances of last year.
Mumbai 1 Sachin Tendulkar (capt), 2 Sanath Jayasuriya, 3 Shikhar Dhawan/Ajinkya Rahane, 4 JP Duminy, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Abhishek Nayar, 7 Saurabh Tiwary, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Pinal Shah (wk), 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Lasith Malinga
Ajit Agarkar had another poor outing against Bangalore which means his place could come under scrutiny. They have the expensively acquired Mashrafe Mortaza in the side, but Charl Langeveldt, with his mastery of death bowling, could win a place ahead of him. Morne van Wyk's unbeaten 43 should help him get another game at least, which means Brad Hodge could be on the sidelines.
Kolkata 1 Brendon McCullum (capt), 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Sourav Ganguly, 4 Morne van Wyk (wk), 5 Yashpal Singh, 6 Wriddhiman Saha, 7 Laxmi Shukla, 8 Ashok Dinda, 9 Charl Langeveldt, 10 Murali Katik 11 Ishant Sharma
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