IPL 2017, Match 54: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians — Players to watch out for
Rohit Sharma, Sunil Narine, Chris Woakes and Jasprit Bumrah will play vital roles for their respective sides at Eden Gardens tonight.
New Delhi: This is the battle to decide which team tops the IPL 2017 table. Hosts Kolkata Knight Riders, despite their recent slump in the form, can still top the table with huge a win. That's an unlikely scenario considering Mumbai Indians' brilliant form in Eden Gardens. Rohit Sharma is the undisputed king at the Eden, and so thus the team he is leading. But Gautam Gambhir's side can't be taken lightly.
This is one fixture which has seen Mumbai dominating. Mumbai has a win-loss record of 14-5, and it's 5-2 at Eden. So, the general thinking is yet another Mumbai show in Kolkata. But Gautam Gambhir's outfit is one of the most balanced sides in the tournament, and with the stakes so high, expect a thriller tonight.
But all that depends on how the stars in their respective ranks turn up. There are some huge names, including the captains. Here, we look at two players each from each camp who are likely to play pivotal roles.
Kolkata Knigh Riders
Sunil Narine: The West Indian 'all-rounder' has impressed everyone with his brand of destructive cricket with the bat. He is a mystery bowler, that we all know, but what the 28-year-old has done with the willow is indescribable.
He is likely to open again; and if we may, another carnage is on the cards. Remember what he did to the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack to register that joint-fastest half-century in the IPL. He sure is a treat to watch, and we are not even talking about his bowling.
Chris Woakes: The all-rounder is available for this match, and if he gets picked today, will play a vital role. Woakes' middle overs spells are important for KKR, and that's where the 28-year-old picks his wickets. He has so far taken 17 wickets.
He is also a handy batsman, but so far, is still dormant with the willow. Woakes would love to show, if given a chance, his hitting prowess before leaving for national duties.
Rohit Sharma: There is something about Rohit Sharma and Eden Gardens — an accordant note playing at the highest level. He has done things at this hallowed ground that legends would have loved to accomplish. He has scored 335 runs in five IPL innings in Eden.
The 30-year-old will hope to continue his good form in the venue, and help his team to yet another win and finish top of the table. Also, it will be important for him to hit some form before the play-offs, and Eden is the perfect venue to invoke his inner Rohit Sharma.
Jasprit Bumrah: He is a pure talent. The 23-year-old medium pacer with an awkward bowling action is an class act at the death, where majority of the T20 results are decided. With 15 wickets in 13 matches, no opposing team would commit the mistake of ignoring his presence.
In absence of a steady, wicket-taking spinner in their bowling attack, Mumbai heavily relies on their pace duo of Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan. And they both succeed. The outcome of the match will depend on their performances.