Kolkata Knight Riders have started IPL 2016 brilliantly, defeating Delhi Daredevils in their first game by nine wickets. They will be eager to play similar quality cricket when they face the Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Wednesday.
The defending champions MI were outplayed by MS Dhoni's team, the Rising Pune Supergiants, in their opening game. MI must be hurt with their dismal performance on the opening day of IPL 2016, and they will be keen to pick up a first win.
Here is a prediction of how the KKR vs MI IPL 2016 game might shape at Eden Gardens.
If Mumbai Indians bat first: Win the toss, and bowl first is an ideal situation for the team, which calls heads or tails right at Eden Gardens. Dew is expected to play an important role in the second half of the game. Assuming Gautam Gambhir calls it right, he will want to chase, the way he did against Delhi Daredevils in their first game.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Lendl Simmons start the innings cautiously, trying to save their wickets, so that their power hitters like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya can get into the act. They provide a decent start, scoring 40-odd runs during the Powerplay. Andre Russell and John Hastings fail to take wickets, but Piyush Chawla and Brad Hogg gets into the act, and use the pitch to their assistance. The spinners not only take wickets, but also contain the run flow, and Jos Buttler once again fails. Ambati Rayudu handles the spinners well to help Mumbai score 130-odd runs.
Mumbai open the bowling with Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell McClenaghan, but Gambhir gets his team off to a brilliant start, playing the offie with ease. Robin Uthappa plays the ball according to merit, and shows his class. There is dew in the ground, and the ball comes nicely onto the bat, making KKR's chase easy. They reach the target in 18 overs, with Gambhir carrying his bat through.
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first: Gambhir and Uthappa fail to provide a solid start, as they lose their respective wickets, trying to score at a good rate. Munro, trying to up the ante, loses his wicket as wel, but Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan steady the innings, before Andre Russell comes to the party to score a quickfire 40, to help his team reach a score of around 140 runs.
Rohit and Lendl Simmons get off to majestic start, scoring runs in boundaries. They are well on course, but Hogg brings his experience into play, to dimiss Rohit and Simmons in his first two overs. KKR have their tails up, and the crowd gets back into the game as well, but Buttler plays his shots well, taking the pressure off Pollard, who plays cautiously, scoring runs in singles. With Pollard eventually set, he unleashes a flurry of boundaries to win the match in the 17th over.