IPL 2018: Match 54, SRH vs KKR, Preview – Sunrisers hope to give the Knights a ‘sunset’ to the tournament
The Orange Army are expected to field the full-stength squad in this game.
Published - May 18, 2018 6:42 pm | Updated - May 19, 2018 7:57 pm
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a must-win encounter for them at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The visitors have no option but to win this encounter else they will have to hope that the results of the other matches go their way in order to qualify for the playoffs. They will back themselves to trump Kane Williamson and his men who are coming off a couple of losses. However, they are the toughest side to beat on their home ground which will make this encounter a thrilling one.
Much will depend on the result of the game between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) which will be played earlier on the same day in Jaipur. But the simplest way for KKR to go through is by winning this game. Their bowling has been an issue this season and the team would be seeking consistency in that department. While the batting has done enough to boost the confidence of the group, they will have to find a way to score the runs against the bowlers of the opposition who have been exceptional in their own den this year.
The Orange Army has lost only a solitary game at home out of 6 and they will be itching to keep the record intact going into the first qualifier. The bowling unit seems to lack the confidence after the pasting they’ve got in the last two matches but the fact that they will play in front of their home crowd will help their cause. It is also likely that the team will play to their full strength in order to hit the straps for the crunch games next week. They couldn’t have got the better opposition to test themselves as they are in a must-win situation and will play to their potential.
Toss: SRH won the toss and elected to bat first
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav
IN: Piyush Chawla. OUT: Shivam Mavi
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami(w), Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
IN: Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yusuf Pathan. OUT: Alex Hales, Basil Thampi, Deepak Hooda
Expect Yusuf Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to come back into the playing XI for this game as they will go in with a full-strength squad. Deepak Hooda and Basil Thampi will make way for them. More than the return of these two players, they will have to concentrate on bowling well. The likes of Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma have crumbled under pressure by losing their lines and lengths. They will have to keep their cool and execute the plans discussed in the change room.
The delighting news for them is the return of form for Manish Pandey who almost pulled the chase of 219 runs for them and he should be consistent now. The other batsmen have done enough to retain their places and Yusuf’s presence in the middle-order will only bolster their confidence.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shivam Mavi was expensive in the last game again going for 28 runs in an over for the second time this season. He should make way for Piyush Chawla who was injured for the last game. The leggie has been opening the bowling for them and the move has worked more often than not. The rest of the line-up should be same as Dinesh Karthik hasn’t tinkered with the playing XI much. But he will need a clinical performance from his boys to get past the perfect outfit of the Sunrisers.
Focus will be on
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The form of this exceptional cricketer from New Zealand has been unreal. He has just kept on scoring half-centuries and never looked in any trouble whatsoever. So far Williamson has piled on 625 runs in 13 matches with as many as 8 scores over fifty. The strike-rate of 140.44 has been amongst the best as well and he needs to continue batting the same way for one more week. He has led the side in the absence of David Warner really well and his skills will be tested in the business end of the tournament.
Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)
The experienced Knight Rider in the squad has to step up to the task now in this must-win encounter now. Robin Uthappa has often been guilty of wasting his starts this year and should concentrate on anchoring the innings in this game. He will have to show some patience before hitting the ball in the air as the Stadium is big, unlike the Eden Gardens. As an IPL veteran, the team management would look up to him to lead by an example and the rest will follow automatically.
Head to Head
Played- 13, Sunrisers Hyderabad- 5, Kolkata Knight Riders- 8, Tie/NR- 1
398 – Robin Uthappa needs two more fours to complete 400 fours in the IPL. Only five players have hit 400 fours in the history of IPL thus far.
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Match Timings: 20:00 IST, 14:30 GMT