Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have been head-to-head this Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 season as they have been fighting for the no.1 spot. Although Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) shot to glory in the last few league games leaving KKR behind in the IPL 2017 standings. But, now both the teams have got only one shot to make it into the IPL 2017 final as they meet in the qualifier 2 of this edition.

KKR players’ spirits will be high having beaten Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the eliminator. On the other hand, MI were dominated by RPS in the first qualifier, forced to have a second go to reach the finals. Gautam Gambhir’s bowling attack seemed to have found the rhythm at M Chinnaswamy Stadium as it seemed like from the previous game. It will be tough for MI whose batsmen are struggling from the past few matches.

What role will pitch have?
The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium’s pitch has not been the way it used to be in this season. It has been helping the bowlers deferring from it’s true nature as in the earlier season it had a reputation of being a batting paradise. A batsman cannot just come at the crease and slog the ball despite being a small ground. Expect a score around 160 which should be considered as a par score on this pitch. The team winning the toss will look to bowl first.

Will Rain Gods have mercy on qualifier 2?
Bad news, folks! there will be overcast conditions in Bengaluru and rain showers are pretty much expected. One can expect scattered thunderstorms which might play spoilsport in the game. That’s why team winning the toss will look to bowl first if the rain Gods decide to play spoilsport the team will be happy chasing the target as wet outfield will make it tough for bowlers to grip the ball.

The history between the two teams?
On paper, it seems like KKR will be under pressure as they have lost 15 games out of 20 they have played against each other till date. On the other hand, this statistics might make Mumbai players breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they have dominated the KKR side over the years.

Team combinations?
It is a tough call for MI as Rohit Sharma will be looking to play with a batting lineup that just would not look to slog every other ball. His form in the match is vital as well. Saurabh Tiwary might just get a nod in this match for his performance in the previous game. He can score well on these tracks

MI’s likely XI: Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu/Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga

KKR will be looking to go forward with a winning combination and an unchanged side in the knockout game. Gautam Gambhir is the backbone of their side, I have a hunch that he will go ahead with Sunil Narine a second chance to have a shot at glory. Kuldeep Yadav might make a comeback if he gets fit in time.

KKR’s likely XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Ishank Jaggi, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla/Kuldeep Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav

Squads:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa(wk), Chris Lynn, Yusuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir(c), Ishank Jaggi, Sunil Narine, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Darren Bravo, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Rajpoot, Rishi Dhawan, Rovman Powell, Sayan Ghosh, Ramsingh Sanjay Yadav

Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel(wk), Rohit Sharma(c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Karn Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Jos Buttler, Tim Southee, Harbhajan Singh, Vinay Kumar, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, Asela Gunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya, Shreyas Gopal