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IPL 10, Match 14, KKR v SRH, Preview: High flying Kolkata Knight Riders up against the jolted champions

Kolkata Knight Riders won their first home game of the season by 8 wickets.

 

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders registered an emphatic win over the Kings XI Punjab in their first home game of the season. They are now up against the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at the very same venue. The venue of Eden Gardens has been a fortress for the Knight Riders over the last few seasons. Needless to say, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will have a tough time battling them at their home ground.

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Talking about the recent form, the Knight Riders totally outplayed the Kings XI Punjab as they beat them by 8 wickets. On the other hand, the Sunrisers Hyderabad had endured their first defeat of the season when they were beaten by the Mumbai Indians. SRH have been a juggernaut at Hyderabad as they won their first two games of the season. However, their credibility as a visiting side remains largely untested this season.

The first away game was not a fruitful one and now the second one beckons them at Kolkata. Amidst this backdrop, the battle of the high flying Knight Riders and the jolted Sunrisers will get underway. Expect a cracking competition between two sides who are supremely powerful in their batting might. It will be down to the bowlers of both the teams. The team that bowls better on the day shall prevail.

Toss: Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and opted to field

Quotes from the toss:

Gautam Gambhir: As David said, the wicket won’t change much. Hopefully we can try and put runs on the board and restrict them. We want to play as much as we can especially after winning the last game. We have got only one change. Kuldeep comes in for Piyush Chawla.

David Warner: We are bowling first. It’s a good wicket and it’s not gonna change much. Nice even bounce and carry, fast outfield as well. Both teams have got depth in their bowling and it is going to be really competitive. Moises and Bipul are back in place of Mustafizur and Shankar.

Focus will be on

Sunil Narine

KKR spinner Sunil Narine is a renowned T20 specialist with the ball. However, the previous match against the Kings revealed his hidden batting prowess. Gautam Gambhir, the KKR skipper, has noted that Narine will continue to bat in the top order if he clicks well at the position. Batting at number 8 does not do any good to his batting credentials. Narine had opened along with Gambhir in the match and they had added 76 runs off just 34 balls for the opening stand. Narine plundered 37 runs off 18 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Shikhar Dhawan

Sunrisers Hyderabad have often heavily relied on their openers – David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan – to perform at the top order. The two batsmen had added over 1300 runs last season and that was instrumental in taking the team to a title victory. Coming to IPL 2017, Warner has found the meat of his blade and has been scoring well with the bat. Dhawan, on the other hand, has not been as effective as he would want to be. He has got starts but has failed to convert them to big scores.

Chris Woakes

English speedster Chris Woakes was one of the top buys in the IPL this season. However, he has not been performing the way he would ideally like to. Woakes, however, performed decently in the previous match. He bagged a couple of wickets and was quite economical too. With senior pacer Trent Boult not firing with the new ball, Woakes will have to shoulder more responsibility with the ball.

Team Combination – Kolkata Knight Riders

The Kolkata Knight Riders are very unlikely to tinker with their winning combination. They have found a new opener in Sunil Narine. As Gambhir hinted in a press conference, they will be sticking with Sunil as the opener. Narine will be opening with Gambhir and have Robin Uthappa coming in next. Next in line would be Manish Pandey. Both Pandey and Uthappa have been in good form in the past couple of matches.

The middle order with Yusuf Pathan and Surya Kumar Yadav are yet to be tested. Colin de Grandhomme was drafted in the playing eleven for Chris Lynn in the previous match. Grandhomme looked impressive on debut and finished with figures of 1/15 on his IPL debut. The bowling line up might see Trent Boult being replaced by Nathan Coulter-Nile. Boult has not been in the best of bowling forms in the last couple of matches. Kuldeep Yadav might make a comeback in place of Piyush Chawla.

Team Combination – Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Sunrisers Hyderabad might also stick to their playing eleven in the match. The openers have been great with Warner and Dhawan getting starts. They might have to consider their options when it comes to the place of Moises Henriques in the lineup. Henriques was out of the starting eleven in the previous match. However, prior to that, he had scored two consecutive fifties in the first two fifties.

The middle order looks strong on paper with the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting having the ability to clear the long ball fence. Deepak Hooda only adds to this brigade of hard hitters. Mustafizur Rahman was not as impressive in his return to SRH colours as he would have expected. He will get a second go in the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the line up.

Playing XI

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner(c), Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha(w), Ben Cutting, Rashid Khan, Bipul Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir(c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa(w), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav

StatAttack

5.5 – Yusuf Pathan bowled with an economy of 5.5 last year – the best for any bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2016.

184 – Number of runs added by Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn against Gujarat Lions – the highest partnership for Kolkata Knight Riders.

1349 – Number of runs scored by Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner at the top order last year for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2016.

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