Match 33 of the Pepsi IPL 2013 will feature defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the Mumbai Indians.
KKR have steadfastly denied that they are not feeling the pressure of being the defending champions. However with results not going their way, the pressure has started to mount on Gautam Gambhir’s team. KKR have only won two of their six matches and sit at seventh place in the table.
The formidable Mumbai Indians have meanwhile blown hot and cold. In their most recent match against the Delhi Daredevils, they posted 161 runs on the board before their bowling was decimated by Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene. They sit sixth in the table with three wins and as many defeats and will be keen to make a move up the ladder.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 8 p.m
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The most important batsman in the KKR line-up is their skipper Gautam Gambhir. More often than not, when the southpaw has scored runs his team has gone on to win. It will be interesting to see if KKR can make room for the dangerous Brendon McCullum or if they continue to persist with Yusuf Pathan at the top of the order.
In the Mumbai Indians line-up, all eyes will be on Sachin Tendulkar yet again. The master appeared to be in good touch in the previous match against DD and he will be keen to give his fans something special on his 40th birthday. The talented Rohit Sharma was in sublime touch in the previous match; he and Dinesh Karthik – MI’s top run-getter this season – are the two other important characters in the MI batting line-up.
On the slow and sluggish track at the Eden Gardens, the spin twins – Sunil Narine and Sachithra Senanayake – will be at the forefront of KKR’s bowling plans. Mumbai Indians meanwhile will rely on Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson to do the bulk of the damage with the ball.
The head-to-head record between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians is lop-sided in favour of the latter. In the ten meetings between the two teams, the Mumbai Indians have emerged on top on eight occasions.
The average first innings total in IPL matches at Kolkata is 146.
Teams chasing have fared better than teams batting first in IPL matches at the Eden Gardens; they’ve won 19 of the 31 matches which have had a definite result.
Kolkata Knight Riders will remain at home and host Kings XI Punjab on April 26. The Mumbai Indians meanwhile head back home to host the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 27.