Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad will fight for the superiority over each other in the points table when they meet at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata to play the 14th match of the league stage. The upcoming match will be the clash of two talented sides with similar positives and negatives. With two wins in three games, both teams are in top form and stand equally as far as win/loss equation is concerned. Their batting strength and bowling strength also appear to be quite identical.
Let’s a look at their forms, probable line-ups, strength, prediction and more.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be hoping that the track and toss behave well in their favour. The chase in their previous game against Kings XI Punjab was smooth and the track looked highly batting friendly. The bowlers also did a great job. In all, they won the previous game as a result of a collective effort.
The batting order was a complete failure in the last game. Barring the openers – Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner – no one could do anything significant. They simply let the momentum set up by Dhawan and Warner slip away which saw them end at a functional 158/8 after being 81/1 after 10.2 overs (at the time Warner lost his wicket).
View on think-tank:
The Kolkata Knight Riders think-tank did a great job by choosing to experiment with the team line up and rotating the players. Dropping Kuldeep Yadav and Ankit Rajpoot to include experienced names like Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav was a great move. Also, skipper Gambhir and the management also seems to be not afraid of mixing up the batting order. The stunning decision to bring Sunil Narine up the order paid off brilliantly.
SRH will be expecting Mustafizur Rahman to get back to his rhythm. His inclusion in the side was meant to be a huge boost. But, unfortunately, ended getting bashed at 12.75 runs an over, shelling out 34 runs in just 2.4 overs.
Tracking the strength:
Sunil Narine displayed his new strength to the Indian crowd. The wily off-spinner, famous for his knuckleball, has been experimenting with his batting since the past couple of years and has gradually achieved success to some extent. Apart from cameos in the lower order, Narine has managed a fair amount of success as top order as well.
An example of it was witnessed in Kolkata Knight Riders’ last fixture. It is highly unlikely that Gambhir will use him as his opening partner in the upcoming match, but his batting ability combined with potent spin capability surely makes him a huge plus point in the side.
SRH’s biggest strength will be Rashid Khan, without any doubt. The 18-year-old has picked top quality batsmen in all three matches so far. His well-disguised googly, which is now a topic of discussion for everyone in the IPL circle, remains a mystery to be solved. Apart from the tricks he has in his bag, it is the ability to quickly get a breakthrough for his side that makes him special. He has snapped a wicket in his opening over in all of his matches so far.
Possibilities in the line-up:
Kolkata Knight Riders also will likely go in with the same line-up after the win over Kings XI Punjab. They made a couple of changes in the starting XI and the moves paid well. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and Umesh Yadav were brought in place of Ankit Rajpoot and Kuldeep Yadav. Piyush Chawla also made a return. This trio will retain their place as they gave an impressive performance.
SRH is expected to try the same line–up which played against Mumbai Indians. There will a doubt over the place of Vijay Shankar, but he will most likely retain it having played in only one match so far.
Head to head
Kolkata Knight Riders have a clear dominance over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in terms of the head to head record. The two teams have played 9 matches together so far with KKR winning six of them while SRH winning only three.
Kolkata Knight Rider appear as favourites. SRH’s bowling weaknesses were exposed to some extent and the home team’s batting at the moment appear strong enough to take advantage of it. KKR also has the same x-factor in their bowling line-up that SRH has; therefore the home side can bet on restricting the opposition to small scores.