Sailing in rocking boats, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians would be desperate for victory when they meet on Wednesday. Having lost their last two matches, both have slipped to the bottom half of the points-table, and are aware that another loss would jeopardise their play-off prospects. KKR are seventh with four points from six games, while Mumbai Indians are perched one place above KKR with six points from as many outings. The contest assumes more significance as it coincides with Sachin Tendulkar’s 40th birthday. While CAB has engaged a Hyderabadi baker to prepare a 40-pound special cake for him, Kolkatans would be keen to savour a big knock from him.
In the past, Mumbai have had an edge over KKR at the Eden. In their last IPL clash here, the former rode on Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten century (109, 60b, 12x4, 5x6) to win by 27 runs. In the ongoing edition also, Sharma has been in fine form (230 runs). So has been Dinesh Karthik (256 runs). But the rest have been mostly ordinary, especially Ricky Ponting, who could take a leaf out of Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kumara Sangakkara’s book and sit out of the match. In the bowling department, both the pacers and spinners have failed to impress, especially spearheads Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh.
For KKR, only captain Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan have clicked with the bat. Senior pro Jacques Kallis, their most consistent batsman last season, hasn’t been half as influential. So have been Indian players Manvinder Bisla, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary.