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KKR bowlers were on a rampage in their match against DD. © AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will locks horns with Mumbai Indians (MI) in Match 5 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. While KKR started their IPL campaign on a winning note, MI are yet to open their account. With the kind of performance KKR bowlers displayed against Daredevils on Sunday, it will be an uphill task for MI batsmen to go all guns blazing. KKR have entered the Playoffs twice, and eventually, ended up emerging triumphant on both occasion. However, the reason KKR have been dominating in IPL, is because of the team composition they boast of. Let’s have a look at KKR’s likely XI against MI at Kolkata: Full Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Match 5 at Kolkata

Batting firepower: Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir’s match-winning 59-run partnership in their first match was not the first time that the duo gave its side impetus at the top order. While Uthappa fires on all cylinders, Gambhir makes sure he stays at the crease until his side needs him. For KKR to get off to a flying start, this duo will have to take the MI bowlers to the cleaners.

If the openers fail to deliver, they have more firepower at No.3 and 4, Manish Pandey and Colin Munro. We are familiar with Pandey’s heroics when the team is in trouble. Though he is still new in international circuit, he has been a swashbuckling batsman in IPL since its inception. Given No.3 is a vital position, he’ll leave no stone unturned to go great guns. IPL 2016 Schedule, Time Table, Fixture PDF Download

Nonetheless, we saw what Munro can do with the blade in the recently concluded ICC World T20 2016. The belligerent southpaw has been playing a vital role for New Zealand in the slam bang world of T20. This season being his first stint, IPL fans are yet to witness his entertainment with the bat.

Enter Suryakumar Kumar at No.5. He played a key role when KRR won the second IPL title. He scaled up the run-rate when the team needed as well as played the role of a finisher. Suryakumar is one of the Indians talents to watch out for.

All-rounders: KKR feature an off spinner in Yusuf Pathan and right-arm pacer in Andre Russell. If a team has a variety of bowling attack, it gives freedom to the captain to rotate bowlers if one of them leaks runs. When it comes to batting, there are few like these two who can use the long handle to destructive effect.

Bowlers: Good news for Kolkata fans is that still-a-mystery spinner Sunil Narine is back to KKR camp and is all set to play against MI. In fact, he is the only player to bowl a maiden in a Super Over in T20s. Such is the dominance of this Calypso King in T20s! But the question beckons: who will he replace in the playing XI? Will it be pacer John Hastings or crafty chinaman Brad Hogg? While Hogg scalped 3 wickets, Hastings picked up 2 wickets and conceded 6 runs in his 2.4 overs. Given Hasting has ability to go big with the bat, Hogg is unlikely to make it to the playing XI.

Leggie Piyush Chawla put up a stellar performance as well in the previous match. His figures of 2 for 21 put the team in the driver’s seat, in the middle overs.

Umesh Yadav was the only bowler who was not at his aggressive best against DD. However, given he can clock over 145 kmph, he’ll be handy with the new ball against Lendl Simmons and Rohit Sharma.

Playing XI: Robin Uthappa (wk), Gautam Gambhir (c), Manish Pandey, Colin Munro, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, John Hastings, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @TheCricKnight.)