Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will go head to head with IPL 11’s current table-toppers- Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. Despite playing at home, KKR will face a stiff test against SRH as the momentum is with the Hyderabad side. While Dinesh Karthik is yet to settle into his new role, Williamson has got off to a great start with a 100 percent win record. KKR too started brightly in the tournament but their encounter against CSK exposed some of the faultlines that need an immediate attention. SRH, on the other hand, have had a terrific bowling performance in their two previous encounters and the bowling unit which looks well settled. The toss will also be crucial in this contest as team’s chasing on this ground have won more than 60 percent of the IPL matches. However, one statistic which will work in favour of the home side is that SRH have never been able to beat KKR at the Edens.
Weaknesses: While KKR’s batting looks in good shape it is the bowling which will be a huge concern for the think-tank. Before the tournament began, they were considered as the most powerful bowling unit, however, after failing to defend 202 against CSK, perceptions have changed a little bit. While spinners continue to impress, it is the pace-battery which needs attention. Vinay Kumar was particularly poor in the last match, conceding 17 runs in the final over as KKR ended up on the losing side. Hence, it remains to be seen whether he gets a game or young Kamlesh Nagarkoti makes his debut. Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach Heath Streak has also hinted at Mitchell Johnson’s inclusion against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Another concern will be the form of Chris Lynn, as the Australian is yet to fire in the tournament.
Sunrisers Hyderabad also needs to address their concerns in the middle order- which collapsed dramatically against Mumbai on Thursday. Another aspect is wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha’s role with the gloves. While Saha’s glovework behind the wicket is among the best in the world, his role as an opener has raised quite a few eyebrows.
Players to watch out for:
After an impressive exhibition of spin bowling in Hyderabad, Rashid Khan will definitely be the one to watch out for. Billy Stanlake, Shakib-al-Hasan, Bhuvnesh Kumar will be the others to watch out for. KKR also includes some of the standout performers in the form of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Kuldeep Yadav. The contest between Yadav and Rashid Khan will be one of the several exciting contests to watch out for.