Robin Uthappa has been a blessing for KKR at the top of the order © IANS
Robin Uthappa has been a blessing for KKR at the top of the order © IANS

 

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

 

May 13, 2014

 

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Mumbai Indians (MI) will clash at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014′s 40th match. It is interesting to note that this is one of Kolkata’s home games. A few days ago, Kolkata had played an ‘away’ game here as it played host to the Kings XI Punjab. And, Kolkata did win that game and have set the tone for this game. At the other end, Mumbai are coming off a comprehensive victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

 

The wicket at Cuttack is good for batting going by previous performances. Although Punjab did not get a huge score in their previous game, Kolkata overhauled that score with ease. Thus, with this game being played under lights, it is obvious that the team winning the toss would want to bat first.

 

Kolkata have found a fantastic opening partnership in Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa. The duo provide stability and punch and the top and that is an area that is Kolkata’s major strength. Later, they have good stability in Jacques Kallis and Ryan ten Doeschate. Manish Pandey also adds a lot to the top order with his aggressive batting.

 

It would be interesting to see the bowling attack Kolkata play. Morne Morkel came in for the last game and did well. Piyush Chawla also made a significant impact. But, Shakib Al Hasan has been consistent and was surprisingly left out of the last game. Perhaps, he could come back for this match to support Sunil Narine.

 

Mumbai have been bolstered by the addition of Lendl Simmons. Ambati Rayudu also is in good form with two consecutive fifties. With the top order doing well, it is a good thing with their aggressive middle in Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson. Rohit Sharma would also want to come to the party with consistent performances.

 

In the bowling, Jasprit Bumrah has been a good addition and is doing a good job with Lasith Malinga. They can be a good attack in the death overs as they hit the yorker length consistently. Harbhajan Singh is also in good form and he does a good job in the middle overs.

 

Kolkata had beaten Mumbai during the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leg and they may be the stronger side for this contest.

 

Squads:

 

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Ryan ten Doeschate, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Sayan Mondal, R Vinay Kumar, Andre Russell, Veer Pratap Singh.

 

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Aaditya Tare (wk), Michael Hussey, Sushant Marathe, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Ben Dunk, Josh Hazlewood, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Shreyas Gopal, Jalaj Saxena, CM Gautam (wk), Krishmar Santokie, Marchant de Lange, Jasprit Bumrah, Apoorv Wankhede, Pawan Suyal.

 

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

 

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)