Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be looking for inspiration from captain Rohit Sharma, who has joined the revived Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
Mumbai lost Rohit and star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, both of whom were rested as a precautionary measure due to the mystery behind the 20-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday. However, head coach Mahela Jayawardene said Rohit should be fit and available for selection for the match against KKR.
KKR, on the other hand, recorded a nine-wicket lead over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second leg of the league opener.
Mumbai, currently fourth in the table with eight points, started their second leg campaign in a simple slow manner, but with only half the tournament remaining, the defending champions need to win to stay in the first half of the league table.
Rohit, who has been in touch lately, is expected to continue in the same trend and help his team to correct the batting performance against CSK. With the exception of Saurabh Tiwary, who scored an unbeaten half-century, none of the other batsmen failed to score 156 and could not take advantage of the start against CSK.
On the other hand, the overall victory boosted KKR’s confidence. The KKR who fought in the first phase looked like a completely different unit in the way they defeated the RCB.
The team, led by Eoin Morgan, finished sixth in the points table, with mystery spinner Varun Chakraborty and star all-rounder Andre Russell firing on all cylinders. There are still 10 overs left.
Captain Morgan said KKR are dangerous opponents with nothing to lose in the second leg and the team looks absolutely terrible against RCB. They hope to continue playing in the same aggressive manner as the 2014 edition when they won nine in a row and win the title.
They already have an edge over their opponents who have experienced conditions at Sheikh Zayed Stadium against RCB.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eon Morgan (capt), Dinesh Karthik, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karun Nair, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Shubhman Gill, Harbhajan Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lucky Ferguson, Pawan Negi, M. Prasad Krishna, Sandeep Warrior, Shivam , Tim Southee, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakraborty, Andre Russell, Ben Cutting, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson, Tim Seafert.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain) Quinton de Kock, Ishant Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Neesham, Jayant Yadav, Kiro , Yudhveer Singh, Adam Milne, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumra, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult.