IPL 2015 opening match Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders is set to start in a few hours at Eden Gardens, Kolkata and let us see the team strengths and weaknesses. Kolkata Knight Riders is entering as a defending champion into IPL 2015 while winners of 2013 season Mumbai Indians wants to regain the trophy.
Key Players: Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Latish Malinga and Corey Anderson.
Batting strengths and weaknesses: With Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Lendi Simmons and Corey Anderson their batting is very strong and the addition of Parthiv Patel and Aaron Finch in the IPL 2015 players auction with increase batting depth and options for every place. Young Players Aditya Tare (who proved in last season), Unmukt Chand were also likely to show their mettle. Inconsistency and failure of top order is a worry for them.
Bowling Strengths and Weaknesses: Their core bowler Latish Malinga is an important bowler for them in IPL 8 too. Jasprit Bumrah has done really well in the 2nd half of the last season. Trading Vinay Kumar before IPL 8 will add experience to the side. Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha lead their spin bowling. Their bowling is strong but how far they will get succeed is a question.
Mumbai Indians squad for IPL 2015
Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu, R Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Corey Anderson, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Unmukt Chand, Aaron Finch, Abhimanyu Mithun, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Akshay Wakhare, A Blizzard, Hardik Pandya, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Nitish Rana
Batting strengths and weaknesses: Most of the matches they won because of top order that is Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey. Robin Uthappa is a purple cap holder for last season. Absence of Chris Lynn and Neesham is a minus point. Yusuf Pathan form is a key for them in middle order. Johan Botha and Azhar Mahmood all round skills is an advantage for them in IPL 2015.
Bowling strengths and weaknesses: Sunil Narine is big gun for them. Adding unknown mystery spinner K C Cariappa is another advantage to them. Pace bowling is lead by Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel. Missing Jimmy Neesham is minus point and Andrew Russel form is a concern for them.
Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 8 Retained squad - Gautam Gambhir, Morne Morkel, Andre Russell, Azhar Mahmood, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Patrick Cummins, Piyush Chawla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Veer Pratap Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Jahan Botha, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Brad Hogg, Aditya Garhwal, Sumit Narwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Sheldon Jackson
Last 5 games
Stats and Trivia before IPL 2015: Mumbai won 10 matches from 14 matches played between them, But KKR won 2 last encounters.
Final words: both teams are equally strong. KKR will have little psychological upper hand with Sunil Narine back into the side for IPL 8.