Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have both been outstanding throughout the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL), and are just a step away from reaching the final. (IPL 2017 FULL COVERAGE)
However, both teams have their own sets of problems.
Ahead of their qualifier clash on Friday, HT takes a look at the two teams’ weaknesses.
Rohit Sharma: The skipper hasn’t really set IPL 10 on fire, aggregating only 283 runs at an average of 23.58 with three fifties. Batting at No 4 to lend balance to the team hasn’t helped India’s limited-overs opener either. Whether MI change the line-up and push skipper Rohit to open remains to be seen.
Batting conditions: The weather in Bangalore could make batting at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium a challenge. On Wednesday, the batsman had it tough, and the rain made things even more challenging. Mumbai Indians middle-order batsmen thus will need to find a way to score if the top-order batsmen don’t click.
Bowling unit: Mumbai bowlers failed to exert control in the defeat against Rising Pune Supergiant in Qualifier 1. The bowling unit looked a bit weak in the absence of Harbhajan Singh, who has kept things tight at one end. Leg-spinner Axar Patel didn’t exude the confidence of the senior pro.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Loss of form: The Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla-owned team seemed a blockbuster initially, winning seven of the first nine matches. Since then it has been more of a flop show, losing five of the last seven matches. Of the two wins in the late phase, one came in the rain-hit Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Late order: There have been questions about KKR batsmen’s ability to find late momentum in the innings. And that aspect will be really challenged by Mumbai’s death-overs specialists Jasprit Bumrah, Mitch McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga.
Ceding advantage: KKR have shown a tendency to give up from a position of strength. Against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede, they failed to defend 59 runs off the last 23 balls. Against the same opponents, they could not score 25 runs off the last three in the loss at Eden Gardens that put them out of a top two finish.