Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indian, IPL 2012, KolkataMumbai Indians Aim Qualify to Playoff up Against Kolkata Knight Riders11-May-2012 12:09:00 GMT
Kolakta: Yet to seal their last-four berth, heavyweights Mumbai Indians would look to stop the Kolkata Knight Riders' six-match winning streak in what promises to be an exciting Indian Premier League contest on Saturday.
Both the teams face each other for the first time this season despite the tournament already into its business-end.
It has been a contrasting journey for both teams as the Kolkata Knight Riders find themselves comfortably placed at number two with eight wins from 12 outings and virtually assured of a place in the play-offs.
They have lost just once in their last 10 appearances as consistency has been the middle-name of the Knight Riders, a team mired in controversies in its forgettable first three seasons.
On the other hand, the Champions League Twenty20 winners and pre-tournament favourites Mumbai Indians are yet to find consistency and have been slightly lucky with seven wins out of 12.
Mumbai Indians batting has looked ordinary with some domination in patches while their bowling superbly led by Sri Lankan sling bowler Lasith Malinga has been quite potent.
The Knight Riders too have been outstanding with their slow bowlers but it's Gambhir's aggressive captaincy and the way he has led from the front that has brought results.
With five half centuries that included three man-of-the-match performances Gambhir has not only led by example but has motivated the side.
The way he handed over his Mam of the match award to youngster Debabrata Das (11 from 4 balls) for playing the finisher's role in their spectacular five-wicket win in Chennai, speaks highly of the left-handed skipper.
At a time, the team's star-studded batting line up of Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary was going through poor form, Gambhir showed faith in his teammates and backed his batsmen to the core.
An interesting battle would be on the cards when West Indies tweaker Sunil Narine would look to spin a web around Sachin Tendulkar.
His contest against Knight Riders speedster Brett Lee would also give the sellout crowd a full worth of their money.
Mumbai Indians' loss to Bangalore at their home turf in their last outing has meant that the battle for the last two spots has become more competitive as the Harbhajan Singh-led side would be keen on the upsetting the Knight Riders applecart.
Solving the opening riddle would possibly rank high on the Mumbai think-tank's priority.
The team has struggled to find a partner for Tendulkar at the top as James Franklin has not yielded much results. Barring Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, no Mumbai batsman has displayed consistency. The team would look for the likes of Kieron Pollard to fire in the next few crucial matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Brendon McCullum (wk), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Chirag Jani, Iresh Saxena, Jaidev Unadkat, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Pradeep Sangwan, Sanju Samson, Sarabjit Singh Ladda, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Eoin Morgan, Marchant de Lange, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, James Franklin, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Kartik (wk), Abu Nechim, Amitize Singh, Aiden Blizzard, Yazuvendra Chahal, Clint McKay, Herschelle Gibbs, Davy Jacobs (wk), Richard Levi, Rahul Shukla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Robin Peterson, Sujit Nayak, Suryakumar Yadav, Jaydev Shah, RP Singh, T Suman, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apporva Wankhe.
Saturday May 12, 2012 (day/night)
Start time 16:00 local (10:30 GMT)