Match factsFriday, May 16, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)
The Big PictureIf the marquee names play to form this could be an intense contest. The key battle will be between the Kolkata Knight Riders' new-ball pair of Shoaib Akhtar and Ishant Sharma and the Mumbai Indians' opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya - sheer pace and movement against mammoth experience.
Shoaib remains the key after making a resounding Indian Premier League (IPL) debut. Bowling at optimum pace, he demolished the Delhi Daredevils, though he was helped by a couple of Delhi batsmen who decided to match him with aggression rather than remain patient. But Tendulkar and Jayasuriya have faced him often enough in others forms of the game, and at times tamed him with their repertoire of shots.
Mumbai are likely to zero in on Kolkata's weakness - batting. Sourav Ganguly and David Hussey are the only Kolkata batsmen to come to grips with building and finishing an innings. The absence of a quality opener like Brad Hodge is a further headache for Ganguly, who prefers opening to coming down the order. But he has had to adjust and adopt a safety-first policy.
If Mumbai win, it will be their fifth in a row, giving them further confidence in their bid for a semi-final spot. Their streak started at Eden Gardens and Kolkata, on a winning run themselves, will be looking for revenge after being humbled by Shaun Pollock and Jayasuriya with the ball in that match. As both captains agreed, it will be a "close contest".
Tournament positionMumbai Indians: P8, W4, L4, NRR -0.056
Kolkata Knight Riders: P9, W5, L4, NRR +0.619
Form (last five matches, most recent first)Mumbai Indians: WWWWL
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWLL
Watch out for ...
Team newsMumbai would hate to disrupt their winning rhythm so they might stick to the same XI that beat the Chennai Super Kings.
Mumbai Indians (probable): 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Sachin Tendulkar (capt), 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Dominic Thornely, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Shaun Pollock, 7 Abhishek Nayar, 8 Yogesh Takawale (wk), 9 Dhawal Kulkarni, 10 Rohan Raje, 11 Ashish Nehra.
Despite opener Aakash Chopra's trouble adapting to the Twenty20 format, Ganguly said it was not a matter of concern as the team had won three matches in a row. Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez might get the nod for his all-round skills ahead of Tatenda Taibu and Mumbai local Iqbal Abdulla might make way for fellow left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, who has some fond memories of the Wankhede, including his match-winning 6 for 27 in the final game of the ODI series against Australia last year.
Kolkata Knight Riders (probable): 1 Salman Butt, 2 Aakash Chopra, 3 1 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Mohammad Hafeez, 6 Laxmi Ratan Shukla, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Shoaib Akhtar, 9 Ishant Sharma 10 Murali Kartik 11 Ashok Dinda.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Both Shoaib and Ishant are quality bowlers. That doesn't mean we don't have quality batsmen. It's just not one mini-contest. It's the 40 overs we need to be on top of. I know it will be a close match."
Sachin Tendulkar states the importance of the clash against Kolkata.
"Get Sachin, get Jayasuriya, get Robin [Uthappa] and finish with a five-for."
Sourav Ganguly's message to his premier bowler.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo