Posted on: April 16, 2014
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KKR Vs MI, 1st Match of IPL 2014

By IPL Googly

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KKR Vs MI, 1st Match of IPL 2014

Indian Premier League season 7 begins with the defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi on 16th April 2014.

Preview

Having made it to the playoffs for four successive season, Mumbai Indians, over the last six seasons of the IPL, have been one of the most consistent sides. Owned by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, the franchise is known for spending big bucks at the auctions on players and then making them warm the bench for the entire season. This year’s auction was a mixed feeling for this team, as they lost their two most consistent players in Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Bravo but managed to grab the new sensation Corey Anderson apart from Josh Hazlewood, Ben Dunk and Mike Hussey.

Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, have been the most talked about side in the IPL, thanks to all the controversies the owners, management and the players get themselves into both on and off the field. Owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, it is one of the most followed and loved franchise in the IPL. KKR gained heavily from this auction, as they managed to grab some good Indian players like Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Vinay Kumar, something that they missed dearly in the last season.

Match Conditions

With the match being played at UAE, the conditions will be alien to the players and the whole point about ‘more local players the merrier’ has no relevance here. Indian local players may in fact struggle in the first few matches to steady themselves on these pitches – we won’t have a clear idea of the pitches until the first few matches are played.

Generally though, UAE pitches are supposed to be more on the slow side which is in easier sense, more close to Indian pitches and if this does prove to be true, the spinners shall certainly come in handy on this pitch. It’ll definitely be very interesting to see how the pitches pan out to be.

Player to Watch Out

Jacques Kallis : This will be Kallis’ first season post his retirement from international cricket. Kallis may not be regarded as the world's best T20 player but his record speaks greatly of him. He's the 6th highest run scorer in the IPL, just after Tendulkar, which proves that he's had a good run in the IPL. Kallis’ will be much more relaxed this season, since the pressure of playing international cricket no more plays on his mind.

Rohit Sharma : Will look to carry on from the last year’s ‘dream run’ and play with the intent of defending his team’s title. Surely though, it won’t be easy for him as the captain of the side to captain a whole new bunch of players.

Squads

KKR: Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa, Manvinder Bisla (WK), Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, R Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav

MI: Rohit Sharma (C), BR Dunk, Mike Hussey, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare (WK) Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Lasith Malinga, J Bumrah

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