IPL Qualifier 2 Preview – Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

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Which captain will lead his team to the final? [Sportzpics]

Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will meet in the Indian Premier League [IPL] Qualifier 2 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday, to decide who faces Rising Pune Supergiant in the final.

Mumbai come into this game having lost in Qualifier 1 against Pune. A second chance comes their way as they finished first in the league stage, with the playoff system giving a cushion to teams that finish in the top two.

On the other hand, Kolkata got the better of Sunrisers Hyderabad in a rain-curtailed Eliminator and there’s a good chance that the weather could have a say in the outcome of Qualifier 2 as well.

Ahead of the match, we have the latest team news, start time and date, as well as how you can watch all the action from the UAE.


DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO

Date: May 19, 2017 (Friday)

Time: 18:30 GST, 20:00 local time (IST), 14:30 GMT

Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru


WHERE TO WATCH, LIVE STREAMING INFO

TV: UAE – OSN Sports Cricket HD, India – Sony Six, Sony Six HD (English), Sony Max, Sony Max HD 3 (Hindi), UK – Sky Sports

Online streaming: hotstar.com, Hotstar app (in India only)

LIVE: Sport360.com


TEAM NEWS, SQUADS, PREDICTED XIs

MI SQUAD: Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Hardik Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, R Vinay Kumar, Mitchell McClenaghan, J Suchith, Siddhesh Lad, Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia, Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, Asela Gunaratne, Kulwant Khejroliya.

Mitchell McClenaghan has been very expensive in the last two matches that he has played in, which could tempt Mumbai to look at bringing in Mitchell Johnson or Tim Southee.

Harbhajan Singh was missing from the playing XI on Tuesday and one wonders if he might make a return in place of Karn Sharma here.

LIKELY MI XI: Patel (wk), Simmons, Rohit (c), Rayudu/Rana, Pollard, Krunal, Hardik, Karn/Harbhajan, McClenaghan/Johnson/Southee, Bumrah, Malinga.

KKR SQUAD: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Andre Russell, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rovman Powell, R Sanjay Yadav, Ishank Jaggi, Darren Bravo, Sayan Ghosh, Colin de Grandhomme.

With Manish Pandey injured, expect Ishank Jaggi and Suryakumar Yadav to keep their places in the team.

It’ll be interesting to see what opening combination the Knight Riders go with in this match. Chris Lynn will in all likelihood be one of the openers, while the other could be either Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir, or Robin Uthappa.

LIKELY KKR XI: Narine, Lynn, Gambhir (c), Uthappa (wk), Pathan, Jaggi, Suryakumar, Chawla/Kuldeep, Coulter-Nile, Umesh, Boult.


FORM

(Last five matches – with latest match first)

MI: L W L L W

KKR: W L L W L


MATCH PREDICTION

At this stage of the tournament, it’s quite hard to predict which way a match will go. With rain around, the toss might end up being a crucial factor in this game.

Having exhibited better form in the league stage, Mumbai go into the match as slight favourites.

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Biggest talking points of IPL 2017

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MS Dhoni and Kieron Pollard [Sportzpics]

This IPL has seen some great action on the field and also, there were a few things off the field that caught our eye during the course of the season.

This edition saw more than its fair share of confusion, acrimony and bad luck.

Here, we look at four talking points from this year’s tournament.

INJURIES PLAY SPOILSPORT

Indian Test stars Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay, and KL Rahul were ruled out of the tournament due to injuries even before a ball was bowled. Others such as Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Shami missed the start of the season due to niggles.

There were other absentees from the tournament such as Quinton de Kock and Mitchell Marsh which wasn’t ideal for a tournament of this magnitude.

And as the tournament wore on, players like Brendon McCullum and AJ Tye picked up injuries. By the final stages of the tournament, a decent amount of the players had either been injured or left the tournament to be with their national teams.

GOENKA’S HARSH TWEETS ON DHONI

Before the season began, Rising Pune Supergiant made a surprising decision to replace MS Dhoni with Steve Smith as the captain of the team. With Dhoni not in great form at the start of the tournament, Harsh Goenka – brother of RPS owner Sanjiv Goenka – took pot shots at the former Indian captain on Twitter which did not go down well with many people.

Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Singh Rawat took to Instagram at the time to post a picture of her sporting Chennai Super Kings (Dhoni’s former IPL franchise) colours and a passage about karma, which is assumed to be a reply to Goenka’s tweets.

A post shared by Sakshi (@sakshisingh_r) on

Interestingly, after Dhoni played a superb knock to help Pune reach the IPL final on Tuesday, Goenka posted a tweet praising the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Guess, good sense finally prevailed.

POLLARD AND MANJREKAR’S MISUNDERSTANDING

Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard was irked by some criticism from former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar during a match against Kolkata Knight Riders and the West Indian cricketer let his thoughts known in a series of tweets.

It all started when Pollard assumed Manjrekar had questioned his ‘brain’ and then unleashed a Twitter tirade, saying: “@sanjaymanjrekar u feel any positive can come out of your mouth bcuz u get pay to talk u can continue with your verbal diarrhea”.

Manjrekar later clarified on Twitter that he never used the word ‘brainless’ to describe Pollard’s batting and was instead talking about his range.

“Said “Does he have the range?” Using terms like ‘no brains’ or ‘brainless’ not my style. I can be critical but never insulting,” tweeted Manjrekar.

Manjrekar was proven right as the IPL’s official website uploaded a video of his commentary during the said incident. The Indian commentator and Pollard also met each other later in the tournament which was great to see.

NO GAMES FOR CHIRAG SURI

Chirag Suri became the first UAE cricketer to get picked by an IPL team as he was bought by Gujarat Lions for his base price of INR 1 million at this year’s auction.

The 22-year-old, though, did not get to play a single game throughout the season. Even when the Lions were reduced to just four overseas players in their squad due to injuries and international commitments, Suri was overlooked.

Speaking to Sport360 after Gujarat’s exit from the tournament, Suri was pleased with the experience despite sitting out of all 14 matches. “It was a bit difficult for me not to play but it was a great experience for me,” he said.

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IPL 2017: Player of the Day - Nathan Coulter-Nile [KKR]

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Coulter-Nile celebrates a wicket with Suryakumar Yadav [Sportzpics]

Nathan Coulter-Nile has been impressive in the Indian Premier League [IPL] this season and he delivered once again for Kolkata Knight Riders in their victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The Australian pacer took three wickets as Kolkata booked a meeting with Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2, which will be held on Friday at the same venue.

First, he took the wicket of Kane Williamson at a crucial juncture of the game as the New Zealand skipper had just built a 50-run partnership with David Warner.

Coulter-Nile would then bowl a superb 19th over where he conceded just three runs and took the wickets of Vijay Shankar and Chris Jordan.

A spell of 3-20 from four overs saw Coulter-Nile win his third Man of the Match award this season.

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