Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IPL Preview: MI vs KKR

Posted by Admin On 6:43 PM

Mumbai Indians and KKR would square off against each other on Wednesday but the stakes are high as it will be end of the way for the loser in the IPL. Thanks to the changed format, the eliminator tie has become a sort of a quarter-final since the victor will then clash with loser of the qualifier-1 to earn a shot at the title match.

KKR were well-poised to hand MI their fourth directly beat in their last league match but allowed them to escape and record an exciting last-ball victory. The KKR players, mainly Balaji, who was hit for 23 runs in the last over which included a last-ball six by Mumbai's Rayudu, can forget that stunning change of fortunes in a jiffy.

Wednesday's game is a do-or-die match who would get nerves jangle and the team that shows iron grip on its emotion is likely to win the Eliminator. The KKR batting has done quite well with Jacques Kallis (417 runs from 14 games), Manoj Tiwary (355 from 14) and skipper Gambhir (374 from 14) being its mainstay.

Yusuf has not precisely scored big with 47 not out being his uppermost score in a tally of 257 from 14 games, but MI would be aware of the damage the big-hitting Baroda man can cause once he gets going.

The new ball bowling of the KKR has also been below par with Brett Lee not really drag his weight (4 wickets in 11 games) while Balaji (10 wickets in 13) and Jaidev (6 in 7) have been classy.

Balaji's self-assurance would also be a bit low after the rough treatment he received from MI gangling left-handed batsman James Franklin, who struck four consecutive fours in the last over of the Tamil Nadu bowler to put his side on the sill of a famous win.

KKR have depended mostly on their spinners, especially Yusuf and Iqbal Abdulla who have grabbed 13 and 16 wickets correspondingly and also been inexpensive in this format of the game. The Wankhede track has afford turn over the last few matches and the duo would relish bowling on it.

The gentle medium pace of Rajat Bhatia (8 wickets in 13 ties) has also been pretty handy for the KKR. If KKR have some harm to solve, MI too has a few to tackle, the biggest of them being finding an effectual opening partner to master blaster.

The side has tried out five batsmen but no one has clack though Davy Jacobs come into view to have established down in his role when he broke his thumb and had to be replace. In the last match Suman was tried but he unsuccessful for the second time in the key batting place and this has upset the equilibrium of the team to some extent.

The team would again be looking forward to aid from the trio of Tendulkar (477 runs), Rayudu (383) and Rohit Sharma (359) in batting. Hard-hitting Kieron Pollard (140) and Andrew Symonds (135) have dissatisfied MI but the sweltering 45 not out in 23 balls by New Zealander Franklin, by the way his highest in the IPL, has given them new hope.

Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga still remains MI best bet to give them early benefit while Munaf Patel, dropped for the preceding game, is set to regain his spot. Harbhajan Singh has been quite well-organized if not spectacular in most matches and MI would be expecting more from him against the likes of Yusuf Pathan.

Pollard and Symonds have been below par in bowling too to add to MI woes and they would be eager to see at least one of these big signings step up and perform in the make-or-break tie. Tendulkar is aware that the stung KKR are capable of storming their way back.


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