Mumbai Indians finished as the league toppers but in the previous nine editions of Indians Premier League, only one team that ended on top actually went on to win the title. Mumbai Indian might or might not be aware of this stat but considering the form and balance of the team, they start as the favourites against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Qualifier 2.
Also, in this edition, Mumbai have beaten Kolkata in both the legs. Against Pune, Mumbai’s reliable top-order failed to score runs and that cost them the place in the final. Rohit Sharma would hope his batsmen will not repeat the same mistakes again today. Interestingly, they left out in-form Harbhajan Singh in the last match for Karn Sharma but on a slow M. Chinnaswamy wicket, the former is more likely to play.
Kolkata experienced a great escape in the eliminator when rain almost knocked them out. But the drainage system in Bangalore came to the rescue and Kolkata made it to the qualifier, chasing down the target of 48. They got the much-needed momentum by winning the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Gautam Gambhir is an experienced player under crunch situations and he oversaw his team winning two titles. So Mumbai cannot take them lightly. Chris Lynn’s hitting prowess can completely turn around the game.
There’s also the prediction of rain in Bangalore today and if the match is abandoned then Mumbai go through to the final on the virtue finishing above Kolkata in league table.
Likely Playing XI
Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (capt), Nitish Rana, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Gautam Gambhir (capt), Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Ishank Jaggi, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult.