IPL 10, Eliminator 1, SRH v KKR – Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI
This clash will be a rematch of last year’s Eliminator, which witnessed SRH come out on top, and eventually lift the IPL trophy.
Updated - May 16, 2017 11:40 pm
Despite looking to finish in the top 2, the Kolkata Knight Riders have slumped in their last few games, and now need two consecutive wins to make the final. They will be up against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator, who will fight tooth and nail to play the final at home. This clash will be a rematch of last year’s Eliminator, which witnessed SRH come out on top, and eventually lift the IPL trophy.
The Knight Riders have been the dominant side when it comes to gunning down targets in this edition of the IPL so far, but they failed to guard their fortress at the Eden Gardens against the Mumbai Indians. Chasing a target of 174, KKR faltered on too many occasions, which eventually cost them the game. KKR will also remember that the SRH skipper blew them away with a stunning 126 to post a total in excess of 200.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will have to pick up the broken pieces and regroup as they take on a determined Sunrisers Hyderabad side. Gautam Gambhir’s men will be desperately looking for a win which has eluded them in their lead-up to the playoffs. Here’s a look at the Kolkata Knight Riders’ predicted XI as they clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Openers (Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine)
Opposition bowlers have been able to subdue Sunil Narine’s stand-and-deliver treatment in the last couple of games. However, it was in Bengaluru that Narine raced to the fastest fifty in IPL history on May 7. Narine’s flamboyant knock meant the Royal Challengers Bangalore had no chance whatsoever in defending a score of 158. Nevertheless, the Sunrisers bowlers will have a clearly chalked out plan to dismiss Narine early on so that he does not impose a threat. The onus will be on Sunil Narine to provide KKR with a blistering start at the top of the order.
In the bowling department, however, Sunil Narine has been a tad bit out-of-tune for his standards. Although his economy hasn’t been jarring, he hasn’t picked up as many wickets as he would have liked to. KKR will certainly need him to spin a web around the SRH batsmen, especially when bowling against the likes of Warner and Dhawan.
SRH’s only issue will be with Chris Lynn, who, despite coming on the back of an injury, is still looking as dangerous as he did early on in the tournament. Since his comeback, he’s scored 160 runs in three matches. Lynn has looked aggressive at the start, striking at 186.27. If the Knight Riders are to play the second Qualifier in Bengaluru, they will require Lynn’s fireworks to light up the Chinnaswamy.
Middle order (Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan)
Skipper Gambhir hasn’t been able to convert his starts the way he would have liked. His highest score in the last five games has been just 24. With a tall ask ahead, skipper Gautam Gambhir failed to rise to the occasion against the Mumbai Indians. However, Gambhir will back himself to play the captain’s knock against the Sunrisers.
If there’s anyone who has looked totally at ease against the cunning Rashid Khan, it’s been Robin Uthappa. Robbie has been is sizzling form. He’s looked aggressive in his approach throughout this tournament. Nevertheless, Uthappa threw his wicket away with reckless and quite irresponsible shots in the last two games. He will have to get his act together to anchor an innings and put some big runs on the board.
Despite getting to 30s, Manish Pandey hasn’t been able to get a big score under his belt following his match-winning 69 against the Delhi Daredevils. Pandey has been KKR’s go-to man in situations of crisis. He did try to bail his team out of trouble against the Mumbai Indians but in vain. Coming in to bat in the middle stages of the game, Pandey will look to provide the flourish that KKR needs in the death overs.
As for Yusuf Pathan, it’s been another one of those dry seasons so far. Yusuf just hasn’t arrived in this tournament save his 59 against DD. He looked dangerous against MI with a 7-ball 20, but he couldn’t last at the crease. The Knight Riders will need him to fire in this big game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
All-rounder (Colin de Grandhomme)
Just as Colin de Grandhomme looked like he could save the Kolkata Knight Riders, he departed, much to the disappointment of a packed Kolkata crowd. However, he will take great confidence from the fact that he was able to stitch an important partnership with Manish Pandey. Although in a losing cause, his 16-ball 29 was handy lower down the order. De Grandhomme will focus on maintaining the momentum with the bat going into the first Eliminator.
Bowlers (Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav)
It’s time to bring back Nathan Coulter-Nile, the man who bagged the bulk of the wickets for the Knight Riders. If he’s recuperated from his injury, the Aussie will be raring to go on the big occasion. In tandem with Umesh Yadav, KKR could potentially have a brilliant duo of pace.
The ploy from the Knight Riders, however, will change since they will be playing on a sluggish Bengaluru wicket. KKR will look to cut down on pace, and this calls for Piyush Chawla’s return. His loopy leg-spinners and the odd googly are extremely effective on slow tracks. Chawla will perfectly complement youngster Kuldeep Yadav, who will also have a major role to play against an aggressive SRH batting line-up. The two spinners have the ability to turn the ball both ways, and also slip in the slider. There’s a lot of variety on offer with Chawla and Kuldeep operating for the Knight Riders.
Some changes will be on the cards for the Kolkata Knight Riders as they’d want to play with their best side if they wish to make it to the final. We’re certainly in for a mouth-watering contest between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Garden City.