Bengaluru, May 18: It will be battle of two-time IPL champions eyeing a ticket to yet another final when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will clash with Mumbai Indians the second qualifier in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 on Friday (May 19).
Old rivals will be up against each other for the third time in this season, with Mumbai having got the better off Kolkata on both the previous occasions.
The Gautam Gambhir-led KKR also have an abysmal 5-15 head-to-head record against Rohit Sharma's Mumbai. (Qualifier 2: Preview)
The previous defeats at the hands of Mumbai would be in the minds of Kolkata players but their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator will keep their morale high.
Kolkata defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in a rain-interrupted tie in the early hours of Thursday (May 18), will have revenge on their minds.
Kolkata bowlers once again executed their plans to perfection as they restricted SRH to a below par score in the previous game. Both pacers as well as spinners bowled with discipline against Hyderabad and took KKR one step closer towards final.
Gambhir would be hoping another all-round show from his boys at M Chinnaswamy Stadium to set up a summit clash with Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday (May 21).
Kolkata shocked all by making four changes to their side in the night against Sunrisers but skipper Gambhir's decision was vindicated by KKR's superb performance.
The skipper might consider playing with same team combination.
Here is Kolkata Knight Riders' likely Playing XI against Mumbai Indians:
1. Chris Lynn
The explosive batsman from Australia will open the innings for KKR against MI and team would hope him to just explode. He couldn't do much in the Eliminator against SRH but that was just another night.
2. Sunil Narine
The mystery spinner from West Indies Sunil Narine has been a revelation with the bat in this season. He will be playing the role of an opening pinch hitter for the side and lead the spin department for KKR against Mumbai Indians.
Narine was very effective against Hyderabad with his bowling in the Eliminator and if he continues his form then there's no stopping KKR.
3. Gautam Gambhir (C)
Skipper Gautam Gambhir, who is placed in the second spot in the most runs list with 486 runs, will hope to lead from the front against MI.
He was in red-hot form early in the season but seemed a tad off-colour in the business end. But led the side from the front in the run chase against SRH in the Eliminator.
4. Robin Uthappa (WK)
The aggressive right-handed batsman will be present in the middle order to strengthen team's batting. If he explodes any target is achievable for the KKR.
5. Ishank Jaggi
Jaggi, the aggressive batsman from Jharkhand (right) played his first game of the season in the Eliminator against SRH. Therefore, skipper Gambhir would give him another opportunity to play against Mumbai.
He will once again fill the void created by Manish Pandey, who has been ruled out of the tournament due to injury.
6. Yusuf Pathan
The veteran cricketer isn't in his prime form this year, but skipper Gambhir would be hoping Pathan explodes against Mumbai in Bengaluru if he comes out to bat.
7. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav has a reputation of hitting big shots lower down the order and he's a good fielder too. These qualities might just come across the right-handed batsman's way on Friday.
8. Piyush Chawla
The veteran spinner was very effective against SRH in the Eliminator and picked up the important wicket of David Warner.
Therefore, skipper Gambhir might once again repose his faith in Chawla at Bengaluru on Friday evening.
9. Trent Boult
KKR would take the services of the New Zealand speedster in the must win game against Mumbai. He was quite effective Hyderabad, the other night.
10. Nathan Coulter-Nile
Fit-again Nathan Coulter-Nile has come back into the side strongly. He was awarded man of the match for his bowling effort against Hyderabad and skipper Gambhir would expect a similar performance from him against Mumbai.
11. Umesh Yadav
The speedster complimented Coulter-Nile very well in the encounter against Hyderabad and will once again be leading KKR pace attack against Mumbai.
Kolkata Squad: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav.