Having somehow managed to crawl to a one wicket win in their last game, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are in for a stern test as they travel for their first away game of the season against a wounded Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
There has been plenty of talk about Kolkata’s bowlers, who failed to defend 202 against Chennai in their last game. Vinay Kumar, in particular, copped severe criticism and had to turn to social media to remind fans about the times when he has defended lesser runs in an over against better quality batsmen. The decision to not complete Kuldeep Yadav’s quota was also questioned by experts!
While one must allow Dinesh Karthik to settle into his role as captain, he must also realize the fact that this is a high intensity tournament where people scrutinize every move of a player! He might as well have to take the brave call of dropping a senior pro like Vinay for a younger player like Kamlesh Nagarkoti or Shivam Mavi.
Hyderabad had a lucky escape in their last game as they had to rely on big Billy Stanlake to take them to a victory off the last ball. Small targets can often be tricky ones and one could say that the SRH batsmen became a little complacent once Shikhar Dhawan departed. The stakes will be particularly high for someone like a Yusuf Pathan, who is an experienced campaigner and has had his performances closely monitored because of his hit and miss career so far!
Rashid Khan was brilliant in his last game as he stifled the Mumbai batsmen and will be looking to outperform the KKR duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. He could be assigned with the task of Andre Russell, who was in blistering form the other night against Chennai. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence was hardly felt in the last game and that just goes to show how good a team SRH have.
KKR have their noses in front, having beaten SRH in three of their past five encounters. They will however, have to bat out of their skins to stand up to the bowling of SRH.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti should come in for Vinay Kumar. Lack of back-up spin options could allow Piyush Chawla to retain his place.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Tom Curran, Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav
Bhuvneshwar Kumar should slot back in for Sandeep Sharma, provided he is fit!
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib al Hasan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake, Siddarth Kaul
April 15, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
© Cricket World 2018