Eden Gardens to decide who finishes No. 1

Hogg: Narine and Lynn are exactly what KKR need at the top (3:23)

Ajit Agarkar and Brad Hogg have their say on Kolkata Knight Riders' tactic of not opening the batting with Gautam Gambhir (3:23)

Match facts

Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians
Kolkata, May 13, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Head to head

Overall: With a 14-5 record, Mumbai Indians have owned this fixture. Their 14 wins are the joint-most by a team against any opponent in the IPL. Mumbai have also won their last four games against Knight Riders. At Eden Gardens, Mumbai have a 5-2 record.

This season: A spectacular finish, in which 61 runs were scored off the last four overs, had Mumbai overhaul Knight Riders' total of 178 off the penultimate ball.

In the news

Shakib Al Hasan won't be part of the rest of Knight Riders' season, having joined Bangladesh's squad for their tri-series in Ireland. Nathan Coulter-Nile, who suffered a blow on his helmet grille against Rising Pune Supergiant, has been ruled out of this game. Suryakumar Yadav was hit on the back of the head during a batting drill and may not be available for selection.

Chris Woakes, for Knight Riders, and Jos Buttler, for Mumbai, won't be part of the playoffs - heading off on England duty - but are available for this game.

Qualification scenario

Mumbai qualified for the playoffs a while ago. A win against Knight Riders will mean they finish the round-robin stage at No. 1. Given their superior net run rate, even a loss here is highly likely to have them finish in a coveted top-two spot.

Rising Pune Supergiant's loss to Delhi Daredevils on Friday has all but secured Knight Riders' playoff spot. Given their net-run-rate advantage over the next three teams - Pune, Sunrisers and Kings XI - there is only the slimmest of mathematical chances of them missing out, and that is highly unlikely to come about.

Instead, KKR's focus will be on finishing in the top two. If they beat Mumbai, depending on the margin of victory, they could top the table. If they lose, to finish in the top two they will need Sunrisers and Pune to lose their final games.

The likely XIs

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Sunil Narine, 2 Chris Lynn, 3 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 4 Robin Uthappa (wk), 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Ankit Rajpoot

Mumbai Indians: 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Karn Sharma, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Strategy punt

Despite Knight Riders' loss against Kings XI Punjab, sticking with the Lynn-Narine combination at the top may not be a bad idea, given how ruthless they have been in the Powerplay overs.

But there may be a case for Robin Uthappa at No. 3 - instead of Gambhir - if Knight Riders lose a wicket early. Uthappa enjoys the Powerplay overs and scores at a strike-rate (135.90) higher than his captain (123.50). Besides, Gambhir, an excellent player of spin, can negate the strength of Mumbai's spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Karn Sharma, in the middle overs.

Stats that matter

  • KKR's run rate of 9.87 in the Powerplay so far this season is the highest ever by any IPL side in a season.

  • Gautam Gambhir has scored 22 runs in 34 balls (strike rate 64.70) when he has not opened the batting this season. He hasn't hit a boundary, and has a sub-100 strike rate in both his innings. In the first 11 games of the season - where he opened - he had a strike rate of below 100 just once.

  • Rohit Sharma's sensational form at Eden Gardens is not limited to just international cricket. In the IPL, he has scored 335 runs in five innings here, with an average of 167.50 and a strike rate of 155.09. His scores at Eden Gardens for Mumbai have been 10, 109*, 34, 98* and 84*. Mumbai have won four of those five games.

  • Mitchell McClenaghan has been effective in the end overs for Mumbai, but has been woeful in the middle overs. In the Powerplay, he has taken nine wickets at an economy rate of 7.61, the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Powerplay this season.
    In the middle overs (overs 7-15), he has an economy rate of 12.44 and an average of 112, the worst economy rate for any bowler who has bowled at least five overs.
    He has been Mumbai's best end-overs bowlers, taking seven wickets with an economy rate of 8.43.

  • Manish Pandey has struggled against Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga in the IPL. In 103 balls against both bowlers, he has scored 100 runs and has been dismissed eight times.

  • Against Rohit, Knight Riders could perhaps use Sunil Narine, who has conceded just 77 runs in 71 balls against him. He has also dismissed Rohit once in three innings at Eden Gardens, and had him lbw in the reverse fixture earlier this season, albeit to an umpiring error