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Match Preview: Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders - Qualifier 2 - IPL 2017

Will Mumbai Indians prefer Ambati Rayudu (right) to Nitish Rana?
Will Mumbai Indians prefer Ambati Rayudu (right) to Nitish Rana?

Both Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will be desperate to keep their chance alive of winning their third Indian Premier League title when they lock horns with each other in the Eliminator in Bangalore on Friday.

Mumbai have a whopping 15-5 record in their head to head battle against Kolkata and even in this season they managed to win both the encounters making them favourites. However, the men in blue were found wanting in slow tracks this season as seen in the Qualifier 1 game against Rising Pune Supergiant at Wankhede Stadium.

The pitch for Friday's game will be no different as compared to the one they played on Wednesday where the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman struggled to cope up with the uneven bounce. The other major challenge for both the teams will be to combat the weather factor. With another thunderstorm expected in evening, toss will once again remain a crucial factor that will give team batting second advantage.

Mumbai will be forced to bring Harbhajan Singh back into the line-up at the expense of Karn Sharma while it will be interesting to see whether they will retain the experienced Ambati Rayudu or prefer Nitish Rana, who were instrumental for them in the first half of the tournament.

Kolkata on the other end will have to miss the services of Manish Pandey with a side strain which might hand Ishank Jaggi another opportunity. Nathan Coulter-Nile will once again be key performer with the ball and the likes of Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav will be more than handy in the slow Bangalore pitch, which once was known to be a paradise for the batsmen.

Recent Form:

Both the teams have faced three defeats in the last five games.

Mumbai Indians: LWLLW
Kolkata Knight Riders: WLLWL

Performance in Group Stage:

Mumbai Indians went on to top the table with 10 wins from 14 games that helped them with a second opportunity to the final while Kolkata Knight Riders with eight wins finished fourth in the table.

Likely XI's:

Mumbai Indians - 1. Lendl Simmons, 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Nitish Rana / Ambati Rayudu, 4. Rohit Sharma (captain), 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Lasith Malinga, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Mitchell McClenaghan / Mitchell Johnson.

Kolkata Knight Riders - 1. Sunil Narine, 2. Chris Lynn, 3. Gautam Gambhir (captain), 4. Robin Uthappa (wk), 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Ishank Jaggi, 7. Suryakumar Yadav, 8. Kuldeep Yadav, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Ankit Rajpoot, 11. Trent Boult

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