About the Match
This 24th April is important for Cricket fans for two main reasons: first its Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday and second, an IPL game between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders is to be played. Apart from Sachin’s birthday, this match would really be important for both the teams. Both the teams currently stand in the bottom of the table and a win in this match could provide much needed momentum to either side. A win for Mumbai would take them to fifth spot while a win for KKR would result in swapping of places between MI and KKR.
The Pondulkar pair hasn’t fired yet and that’s one of the major reasons of Mumbai’s failure in the last few matches. Although the senior citizen of the team, Sachin Tendulkar, who turns 40 on the match day, has played his part and seems to be back in form. Their middle order is in excellent touch with Karthick, Sharma and Pollard firing. The major concern for them has been their bowling which despite having Malinga and Harbhajan is finding difficulties in containing and taking wickets. They have the team required to do the job, they just need to click together at the right time.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
It has been a disappointing season for the defending champions thus far. They’ve won just two games out of six games and things aren’t looking good for them. So far it has only been half side show and Gambhir even called their team as ‘schoolboy team’. Only Gambhir, Kallis, Morgan, Narine and Senanayake have performed and no other player has done it even once. Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary have not lived up to the expectations. There’ve been a few positives too. Despite poor performance of local lads, they haven’t lost matches by big margins and they still have a pretty healthy NRR. Yusuf and Gambhir Pair did well in the last game and they are likely to open again. KKR is a tough side to beat if any of their big guns get going.
Can Sachin’s birthday do miracle to his side’s fortunes? It’s difficult to say, but it’s possible. Their team played well in the past, but lost the plot in the recent games. KKR, on the contrary, can consider themselves to be a little too unlucky to lose one game too many against CSK. On paper, both sides are equally good. I’d have to choose KKR just because of familiar home conditions and out of form Mumbai Indians.
Kolkata Knight Riders, 2.10 @ William Hill