Mumbai Indians will want to bid goodbye to the Wankhede Stadium with a win when the champions host the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2016. Having beaten KKR at their home turf earlier this season, MI will want to complete a double, while putting on a show in front of their own fans.
The winning mantra for matches at the Wankhede is pretty simple – win the toss and put the opposition in. Chasing has been the way to go in the majority of the matches in IPL 2016, and more so at the Wankhede, where the team batting second have won all matches.
With KKR quite adept at chasing – they hardly ever put a foot wrong when they have a target to reach – Rohit Sharma will hope to win the toss at 7.30 p.m. today. If they don't, the majority crowd will hope their skipper leads from the front for this match that the Mumbai Indians really need to win.
In seven matches so far, MI have lost four and won three, and starting off the second leg of their season with another loss will not bode well. However, to pick up that win, MI will need to play perfect cricket, because KKR are a team in supreme form.
Apart from that one blemish against the Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens, KKR have been outstanding in IPL 2016, winning four out of five matches. A win on Thursday will take them back to the top of the table, above the Gujarat Lions on net run rate.
However, the Kolkata Knight Riders will have that loss to the Mumbai Indians in mind when they take the field, knowing full well that if they end up batting first, they will need to put up a really big score on the board, considering how easily MI chased down 187.
"One bad game does not define us," Gambhir was quoted as saying by IPL's official website when asked about the six-wicket defeat to the Mumbai Indians earlier this IPL 2016 season. "And you need to give credit to the opposition as well. Rohit Sharma is a quality player and he was the one who took the game away from us.
"If one of the top three batsmen bats through the innings, most often than not, the team will end up winning. And that is what Rohit did. We will try and plan something for him because he is the best player in their lineup. We have come a long way too since that game, winning three matches on the trot away from home. We are in pretty good form as a team and hopefully we can continue that tomorrow as well."
Gambhir has been pretty good at batting for a long time in the middle this season, and if KKR manage another strong start courtesy their captain and Robin Uthappa, the IPL 2014 champions will probably come away with a fifth win of the season.
Where to Watch Live
Match 24 of IPL 2016 is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
International (ROI): Cricketgateway.