The defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been phenomenal this season led by their fearless captain David Warner. Their bowling has proved to be a nemesis for the opposition. They are comfortably placed at third position in the points table with 11 points from 9 games. Sunrisers would be looking to halt the KKR juggernaut who have been brilliant so far. The Sunrisers would also want to keep MI and KKR on their toes for the top two spots. Here are the Match Preview and Predictions as Kolkata Knights Riders face the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Kolkata Knight Riders have not put a foot wrong in their quest for a third championship title. Gautam Gambhir is turning out to be a fantastic captain leading his side aggressively and accurate with his playing XI combinations after taking into account the conditions that prevail. They have been absolutely the team to beat in this tournament with a perfect blend of proven performers along with the new recruits.
The pitch at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad has been in favour of the batsman with an average of 173 in the first innings. The home side has won all their four matches here and it remains to be seen how they tackle the table toppers KKR in this high scoring venue. The weather would be hot and dry throughout the evening.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – STRENGTHS
David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan have been giving them steady starts in all the games. But in the previous match against Kings XI Punjab, they showed a positive intent that has been expected from them. Kane Williamson is also in the form of his life thwarting the opposition plans to target the middle order of SRH.
Bowling has been their strongest virtue led by the Purple Cap holder, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Bhuvi has been outstanding to say the least, winning the matches for SRH by taking the crucial wickets. Siddharth Kaul has shown great promise and Rashid Khan has made the batsmen get into a defensive mode against him.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – WEAKNESSES
The lower middle order comprising of Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha have not fired with the bat. The fifth bowler dilemma has still not been solved with Henriques being inconsistent with the ball.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – STRENGTHS
KKR have tasted their success by riding on some all round performances. Robin Uthappa is running away with the games as the opposition just can’t find a way to stop him. Gautam Gambhir can be called as “The Wall in IPL” and he is also the top run scorer this season.
Their pace attack comprising of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme and Umesh Yadav have been the talk of the season producing some magic spells that have had batsmen dancing to their tunes. Kuldeep Yadav has made the life difficult for the batsmen with his variations.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – WEAKNESSES
With everything going right for them, they should not let the guard down. The lower middle order has not been tested for a while. Colin de Grandhomme hasn’t been too impressive with the ball in the last two matches.
SRH – They are unlikely to make any changes in the playing XI that won against Kings XI Punjab.
David Warner (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Siddarth Kaul
KKR – Gambhir has made some changes effectively surprising the opposition with his choices. But he is expected to retain the playing XI from the last game this time around.
Gautam Gambhir (capt), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Sheldon Jackson, Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Sunil Narine, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 10, SRH – 3, KKR – 7.
Earlier this season at Eden Gardens, KKR posted a total of 177 on the scoreboard riding on Manish Pandey’s heroics and restricted Sunrisers to 155-6.
With KKR looking to stamp their authority at the top and SRH striving to keep clear of the mid table muddle and keep their chances of finishing among the top two alive, this is expected to be a mouth watering clash. Here’s what we predict.
IF KKR bats first
1st Innings Score: 180 – 190
KKR wins by 10 – 20 runs
If SRH bats first
1st Innings Score: 180 – 190
SRH wins by 10 – 20 runs