Sunrisers Hyderabad hosts Kolkata Knight Riders in match 38 of the Indian Premier League on Sunday. Both the teams are sitting at eight points but SRH have played one match less. With the tournament approaching its business end, Hyderabad returned to winning ways after beating CSK in their last match. KKR on the other hand, have lost four in a row.
The race to playoffs is heating up and both sides know the value of a win on Sunday. For Kolkata, over-reliance on Russell is proving to be costly. Against RCB, a rampaging Russell along with Nitish Rana almost pulled off a miraculous win. But what will worry the KKR management is the form of the top order. Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa have failed to fire in unison. Uthappa, in particular, was struggling in the last match.
The hosts too have concerns of their own, mainly their over-reliance on openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, who will be leaving at the end of the week to join England’s World Cup.
When the openers have fired SRH have done well but on other occasions, the middle-order has let them down. Vijay Shankar is due for a big score and so is captain Kane Williamson.
“We have got some fantastic players in our middle-order and David and I have done a fairly good job at the top. There are players who are in the World Cup team. Yusuf Pathan’s records speak for itself. There is a reason why they have done so well in the last couple of years,” said Bairstow while defending the middle-order.
On countering the threat of Russell threat, he said, “We could bowl someone like Rashid (Khan) or Sandeep (Sharma), who executes slower balls so well. Russell is playing well, no doubt but at the same time he is still human, he can still get out.”
“If we can concentrate on what we do well, if are able to play the way we did against Chennai (Super Kings) the other day, and put on a complete performance together then we should be in a good place. The pitch has been brilliant here,” Bairstory added.
Pitch Report: The Hyderabad pitch has changed a bit over the last few matches. It has been slow and low and it might get tougher to bat as the game progresses. Both the teams should look to bat first after winning the toss.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Matt Kelly, KC Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (capt), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami, Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem.