Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to retain their position at the top of the VIVO IPL 2018 standings when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 10.
SRH, who are visiting KKR, emerged victorious In both their matches this season. They opened their account with a convincing win over the Rajasthan Royals and followed it up with a thrilling last-ball win against the Mumbai Indians on Thursday night. The performance of the bowlers been a crucial factor in SRH’s success in these early days; twice in a row now, the SRH bowlers have successfully pulled the reins on the opposition and restricted them to modest totals ; which the SRH batsmen have subsequently chased down . SRH have five quality bowling options, and even absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the previous match was not felt much.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have one win and one loss so far this season .
After a convincing performance over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their season opener, KKR let slip from their clutches their match against the Chennai Super Kings. After posting the first 200-plus total of the season, KKR had CSK ina spot of bother and would have believed they had the match in their kitty, before Sam Billings’ late blitz pored CSK over the post. That they could not defend a total in excess of 200 should have set the alarm bells ringing in the KKR dressing room, but at the same time, KKR should also allow for the fact Billings played a special innings.
There are two areas KKR could look at fixing – one in the batting line-up and one on the bowling front ; but KKR have the smallest squad of all teams and hence are limited by resources. Rinku Singh has had two hits so far, and he has not looked the part; KKR might be tempted to give the experienced Ishank Jaggi or the highly-rated Shubman Gill a run. Among the bowlers, R Vinay Kumar’s position could be under threat; the Karnataka pacer has conceded 65 runs in 3.5 overs this season – and came in for plenty of criticism for his poor last over against the Chennai Super Kings. If KKR opt to look for a replacement, the only options they have (among Indian players) are the under-19 World Cup winners Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi.
14 April 2018, 20:00Hrs (IST)
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Given his recent exploits, teams would have surely started seeing Sunil Narine as a serious threat with the bat and would spend more time analysing ways to contain him. The Trinidadian is KKR’s second-highest run-getter this season – his 62 runs coming at a strike-rate of 269.57. Narine is a hit-or-miss strategy, but with the depth they have in their batting line-up, KKR are prepared to take the risk. Chris Lynn is the other batsman in the KKR top-order who can cause damage with the bat in little time; the Australian is yet to play an innings of substance in T20s this year – and KKR will be hoping he can come good on Saturday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad haven’t felt the absence of David Warner so far – primarily because Shikhar Dhawan has slipped into that role. The Indian opener, who has been in smashing form in white ball cricket from the start of this year, has been the team’s top-scorer in both their matches this season; he made an attractive stroke-filled 78 in his team’s season opener against the Rajasthan Royals, and then followed it up with a brisk 45 against the Mumbai Indians – an innings in which he drove fluently and pulled the short delivery well.
The performance of Sunil Narine – the batsman, has pushed to the background the performance of Narine – the bowler. The KKR spinner has returns of 2 for 47 from his eight overs so far this season; his most-recent performance being 1-17 from four overs – that in a match which saw 407 runs being scored in 39.5 overs. His scalps this season are of Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina.
SRH have looked the best bowling side so far this season. While each of their five bowlers have contributed, the performances of Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan stand out. While Kaul has impressed with pace and execution, Rashid Khan continues to bamboozle the best with his quick-arm action.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar reportedly did his hamstring moments before the toss in the match against MI and hence sat out; it is unlikely he would have recovered – given the quick turnaround between matches. But if he has recovered sufficiently, his addition will be a big boost to SRH’s bowling attack.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 12, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 8, Sunrisers Hyderabad won – 4
At the Eden Gardens: Matches – 5, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 5, Sunrisers Hyderabad won – 0
No team has won more matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad than the Kolkata Knight Riders.
True to expectations, the quick bowlers had plenty of success in the previous match at the Eden Gardens; quick bowlers picked up 10 wickets (economy 8.54), while the spin bowlers collected 3 wickets (economy 9.50).
Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib al Hasan have been an integral part of Kolkata Knight Riders in few seasons; In this match though, they will walk out of the visiting team dressing room, having been signed up Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL Player Auction 2018.
Sunil Narine needs 3 more wickets to reach the 100 IPL wickets milestone.