IPL 2018, Match 54, SRH vs KKR, Match Prediction: Who will win the match today, Sunrisers Hyderabad or Kolkata Knight Riders?

It is a must-win for KKR while SRH will want to try the best combination for the playoffs.

Manish Pandey
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Manish Pandey. (Photo by IANS)

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As we have reached the penultimate weekend of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, it’s getting interesting in terms of the possibilities and the probabilities with regards to the qualification of the teams for the playoffs. The Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders go head-to-head at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad tomorrow. A lot will be at stake during that match, not only for these two teams but for some others as well who have kept themselves alive in the tournament by the slightest of margins.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have made it to the top 2 already and whether they win or lose against KKR it won’t have any impact on the fact that they will be in Mumbai playing the Qualifier 1 next week. But because they have suffered back to back defeats against CSK and RCB respectively, they will be eager to get a good result here and break the negative momentum heading into the playoffs.

Pitch and Conditions

The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has produced sticky and two-paced decks right through this IPL. From an away team’s perspective, it’s probably the most difficult venue to visit as Hyderabad’s attack is so very well suited for the conditions. But KKR won’t mind it too much as they have also got the ideal sort of bowlers for the conditions there. The likes of Sunil Narine and Kuldeep will relish bowling on the Hyderabad deck.

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Playing Combination

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Probable Changes – Alex Hales, Basil Thampi and Deepak Hooda out, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in

Alex Hales doesn’t seem to be hitting the ball as clean and as crisp as he normally does and Hyderabad, since it’s a dead rubber for them, might want to try another combination at the top of the order. Their wicketkeeper-batsman Shreevats Goswami opens the batting for Bengal in the Indian domestic circuit and the hosts might give him a go at his preferred slot. If Hales is dropped, the West Indies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite will replace him in the XI and will bat down the order at no. 7 to finish the innings for Hyderabad.

Hyderabad rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar last game and played the young medium pacer Basil Thampi who got carted all around the park at Chinnaswamy. The 24-year old registered the all-time worst bowling figures in the IPL by conceding 70 runs in his 4 overs and for sanity to prevail SRH will bring Bhuvneshwar back tomorrow. Yusuf Pathan is 100% fit as well and should be an automatic replacement for Deepak Hooda.

Predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Shakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Braithwaite, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma

Kolkata Knight Riders

Probable Changes – Shivam Mavi out, Piyush Chawla in

KKR played an extra fast bowler the other evening at Eden Gardens, but considering the nature of the Hyderabad surface, they might want to slot an additional spinner in and if that’s the case, Piyush Chawla will replace Shivam Mavi who went at a rate of 11 runs per over in the last game.

Javon Searles who was handed his debut against KXIP didn’t get a chance to prove his worth with either bat or ball and hence there is no reason to drop him. He should hold his spot in the XI and will be the 6th bowling option for Dinesh Karthik if the need be.

Predicted XI: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav

Team Comparison

It’s been an up and down curve for KKR this season, but they were very impressive in the previous two games, both with bat and ball. The senior batters including the captain Karthik himself have put their hand up and are playing responsibly, while their bowlers as well are starting to bowl with more control and discipline.

While the Knight Riders have gained positive momentum of late, Hyderabad have gone downhill and it’s never a great thing approaching the business end of the tournament. They will be keen on turning it around and with the overall quality of their line-up, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do that.

Hyderabad’s medium pacers have been a little bit wayward with their lengths recently and will want to tighten on that front. The middle order batters will also have to step up to the plate and support captain Williamson who has been batting the best he ever has at no. 3.

Probable Top Performers

Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Dinesh Karthik (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Head to Head

Matches – 13, Sunrisers Hyderabad – 5, Kolkata Knight Riders – 8

The timing of the match: 08:00 pm IST

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Select 1

Online – Jio TV, Hotstar

The prediction is for the Kolkata Knight Riders to beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad in this match.