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IPL 8: Mumbai Indians v/s Kolkata Knight Riders Preview

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. 


Mumbai Indians v/s Kolkata Knight Riders Preview
Mumbai Indians: Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma Mumbai Indians aim to repeat the magic of winning 2013 Indian Premier League. Ricky Ponting who is the player in that season is the coach of the team now and New Zealand fast bowler Shane bond is roped as bowling coach ahead of IPL 2015. In 2014 season it went to play off stage after the poor first half and that Match between Rajasthan Royals and them is the highlight in that season by which they passed group stage.

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 

Mumbai Indians v/s Kolkata Knight Riders Preview
Kolkata Knight Riders: winning 2012 and 2014 seasons Kolkata Knight Riders want to defend their title. Clearance of Sunil Narine bowling action is big relief to them before IPL 8. Key Players: Robin Utthappa, Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey

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 

MI: LWLLW 

KKR: LWWWW

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.

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