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ChennaiOne hour ago
The two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad today. The match will be played at Chepak Stadium in Chennai from 7:30 pm today. This year, there are only 2 foreign captains in the tournament. KKR is captained by ON Morgan of England and SRH is captained by David Warner of Australia. Last season, Kolkata defeated Hyderabad in both the matches. SRH’s team will take the revenge of this defeat.
Hyderabad team has been the consul for the last 5 seasons
Sunrisers Hyderabad, which was the most consistent team in the IPL in the last 5 seasons, is one of the most powerful contenders for the title this time too. The more aggressive the team’s batting lineup, the stronger the bowling. Led by David Warner, this team’s batting lineup is full of Big Heaters. Kane Williamson, Jason Roy, Johnny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Wriddhiman Saha have a lot of experience. At the same time, Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma also had good batting in the previous season.
Warner (left), Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson and Wriddhiman Saha (left to right), who will choose their opening partner, remains to be seen.
Warner the only batsman to score 500+ runs in 6 consecutive seasons
Since winning the IPL for the second time in 2016, the Hyderabad team has managed to make it to the playoffs for the last 5 consecutive seasons. Since 2015, Warner has been seen leading the team from the front. He is the only batsman in the world to score 500+ runs in 6 consecutive seasons of IPL. Williamson captained the team in 2018 due to a one-year ban on Warner. The core strength of the team remains the same. This is the reason that the team bought only 3 players in the auction this year.
Warner and Bairstow pair can open
Looking at Bairstow’s current form, he could enter the opening with Warner in the top order. Both of them average 60 runs in the first 6 overs (powerplay). At the same time, the team’s middle order did not perform much last year. This deficiency has been overcome with the arrival of veteran Jadhav. However, the lack of match finishers may also trouble the team this year.
SRH bowling abounds in death over specialist
The Hyderabad team has always been known for its bowling. The team is relieved by the fit of Bhubaneswar. Last season, he played only 4 matches due to injury. To give him company, bowlers like Yorker specialist T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma are present. Hyderabad have to play the first 5 matches in Chennai only. In such a situation, apart from Rashid, Jadhav and Abhishek can prove useful for the team.
KKR team is balanced this year compared to last season
Kolkata’s team, on the other hand, looks quite balanced this season compared to the 13th season. KKR took informed decisions in the auction this year. KKR bought 8 great players for almost half the amount of money that Rajasthan added to Chris Morris. These include all-rounders like Shakib Al Hasan and Ben Cutting, batsmen like Karun Nair and experienced spinners like Harbhajan Singh.
Shakib’s arrival boosts KKR’s middle order
Last season, the team struggled in terms of opening combinations, middle order and finishers. However, Morgan will be seen as a full-time captain in the IPL for the first time this season. He is currently considered one of the smartest captains in the White Ball format. He won the 2019 ODI World Cup to England under his captaincy. In the top order are superb young batsmen like Shubman Gill.
One of them, Sunil Naren and Rahul Tripathi, can come for the opening. Naren flopped last season. The team had to bear the brunt of it. After this, the middle order is quite strong due to the stay of Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Morgan and Shakib. The team also has a match finisher in the form of Russell.
Famous, Nagerkoti and Shivam will take over the bowling.
KKR also has a famous Krishna-like fast bowler. Krishna made history by taking 4 wickets in an international debut in one-day against England. He is the highest wicket taker in debut ODI. Kamlesh Nagerkoti and Shivam Mavi can be seen playing as their partners. The team also has options such as Pat Cummins and Loki Ferguson as backups.
The fitness and form of the team’s spinners can cause trouble. Harbhajan Singh is 40 years old. At the same time, Kuldeep Yadav is not in form at the moment. Varun Chakraborty’s fitness has always been questioned, but despite this, he was the team’s highest wicket-taking spinner in the last season.
Stats look at the KKR vs SRH match
David Warner has so far scored 912 runs in 23 matches against Kolkata in the IPL at a strike rate of 146.15. During this, he hit 38 sixes and 86 fours. Warner has also scored 2 centuries and 4 fifties against KKR. Bhuvneshwar has taken 27 wickets against Kolkata at an average of 21.37. He is also the highest wicket taker against KKR.
For KKR, Naren and Kuldeep have taken 10–10 wickets against SRH. Naren’s best bowling against SRH is 3 wickets for 26 runs. Whereas, Kuldeep’s best bowling is 3 wickets for 35 runs. Shubman has scored 160 runs in 7 matches against Hyderabad. His batting average is 40 and the best score is 70 not out.
The performance of both these teams in 2020
Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru all had equal points in the previous season. Both KKR and SRH won 7 out of 14 matches and lost as many matches. However, Hyderabad and Bangalore were able to qualify for the playoffs due to net runners.
The pitch at the M Chidambaram Stadium has been helpful to the spinners lately. However, this time the preparation of the pitch was done under the supervision of IPL instead of Chennai franchise, yet it is expected that the spinners can show amazing here. The team that chased RCB and MI won the first match of the season here.