Mumbai, May 4 : Kolkata Knight Riders will leave no stone unturned to keep their playoff chances alive in a must-win IPL match when they will take on Mumbai Indians here at Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors will not only have to win this game, but also hope for the Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Having already qualified for playoffs, Mumbai stand second in the points table with eight wins from 13 games, while Kolkata are at the 5th position with six wins from as many matches.
If Hyderabad win against Bangalore, then Kolkata would have to defeat Mumbai by a huge margin of 100 runs or possibly even more, as their net run rate is much lower than that of Hyderabad.
Dinesh Karthik led Kolkata is loaded with strong batting lineup. The likes of Chris Lynn, Shubhman Gill and Andre Russell have the tendency to score runs in a difficult situation, and can also post a huge score for their opponents to chase.
While Kolkata's bowler Harry Gurney, Sandeep, Sandeep Warrier, Narine and Piyush Chawla will look to bowl a tight line and length to restrict Mumbai batters to post a huge total.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians, who have already qualified for the playoffs will revenge after Kolkata who had defeated them by 34 runs in Kolkata.
Hosts are too loaded with batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya. However, frequent middle-order collapse will be an area of concern.
In bowling, with 373 runs from 13 games at a staggering strike-rate of 197, Hardik Pandya has proved why the Mumbai franchise have so much faith in him. He has also been handy with the ball as he scalped 12 wickets in the tournament so far.
Mumbai, will expect Pandya to continue with his form with others bowlers.
In head-to-head, these two teams have fought each other 24 times in the past. Mumbai have emerged victorious in 18 games, while the Kolkata have managed to win only 6 times. (UNI)