About the Match
It’s time for the great Indian cricketing bonanza – the Indian Premier League 2014
- and once again with the tournament opener between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders to be held on 16th April at Abu Dhabi. The General Elections in India have provided an opportunity to the cricket loving Middle East Nations to host the start up matches of the tournament, which will be shifted to India next month. Mumbai Indians is bubbling with energy with many young players making into the squads; both teams have overseas players with proven abilities to play to the situation. Most of the teams have reshuffled their squads keeping in mind the demands of the T20 format and we can see a good mix of old and young. Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, the captains of the two opposing teams will try to outwit each other right from the beginning; and it’s sure to be an interesting clash between the ruling champions and the erstwhile title holders.
The team has the pillar strength of experienced players like Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Mike Hussey and Lasith Malinga, who are in good form. Rohit Sharma can lead well from the front with his in-form batting skills and players like Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayadu and Corey Anderson bring depth to the team. Michael Hussey played solidly for the Chennai Super Kings till last year and he will come in the middle order to play anchor’s role and stabilize the innings. Corey Anderson with a record fastest ODI 100, will be a key resource, though he has just recovered from an injury, and provide resilience to the team. Most of the younger players have not played in T20I so far but the seniors will definitely guide their team well. Zaheer Khan and Malinga are the specialist bowlers to demonstrate the fire power of the team and will have good support from other bowlers and all-rounders like Ojha, Santokie and Hazlewood. Overall, the team is well balanced with resources to face any situation and has the ability to throw challenges at any team.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Jacques Kallis from RCB has joined the team and is in good shape; Sunil Narine, who did extremely well in the recent World T20, will be joined by Yusuf Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Cummins and Morkel in the bowling department. Umesh Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Piyush Chawla and Kallis will provide variety to the attack; the team has good resources to put up a strong challenge. Gambhir, Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hassan will be key resources in the batting department and have proven record demonstrating their skills. Uthappa is in good nick and has ability to save tough situations and their left – right combination with bat and ball will test the fielders. Some players have not played in this format of the game and the opponent will have some surprises to contain the situation.
Both the teams are well balanced with experience and variety in all departments of the game; the team that can hold its nerve at critical moments would come out with flying colors. While KKR has hard hitting batsmen to test the opposition, Mumbai Indians are better placed to emerge as winners in this game.
Mumbai Indians, 1.66 @ Bet365