IPL 2020 Match 35 Preview: SRH vs KKR - Can newly-appointed skipper Morgan work his magic against Hyderabad
Kolkata Knight Riders, who began the tournament as one of the contenders, are struggling midway with the captaincy having changed hands, the unavailability of Sunil Narine and a poor show from Andre Russell.
Karthik hands over KKR captaincy to Morgan
It came as a surprise but not as a shock when Dinesh Karthik decided to step down from the Kolkata Knight Riders' captaincy midway and hand the responsibility over to Eoin Morgan. While the official word is that it was Karthik who took the initiative as he wanted to focus more on his batting, this was coming for a while now, with Karthik's tactics being questioned.
As it is said, a captain is only as good as his team. It was a disappointing start for the newly-appointed captain Eoin Morgan as Kolkata suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Mumbai in Morgan's first match as captain.
That Kolkata lost was not as disappointing when compared to the manner of their defeat. Kolkata were never in the game from the outset and suffered a massive defeat.
Changes didn't pay off
They made a couple of changes to their playing XI, bringing in mystery spinner Chris Green as a like for like replacement for Sunil Narine, replacing Kamlesh Nagarkoti which Shivam Mavi and promoting Rahul Tripathi back to the top of the order.
These moves did not pay off as Kolkata were tottering at 61 for five at the halfway stage against Mumbai with Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell all back in the hut.
Courtesy of an 87-run partnership between Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins, who scored his maiden T20 half-century - 53 off 36 deliveries, KKR reached a respectable total of 148.
Kolkata's bowling needs Ferguson
However, their bowlers could not make a mark against the star-studded Mumbai batting line-up. There were a couple of tactical errors for Morgan as well like introducing their most potent bowler Varun Chakravarthy in the eighth over. The form that Mumbai are in, it probably wouldn't have made a difference.
Kolkata should look at bringing in New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson in place of Chris Green, who did not have a big impact in his first match, to give an edge to their bowling attack.
SRH still searching for perfect combination
Hyderabad also had their boat rocked sideways against Chennai Super Kings as the team lost the fixture by 20 runs.
David Warner said in the post match presentation that they were a batsman short but one feels that playing Shahbaz Nadeem as the fifth bowler is a better option for the balance of Hyderabad.
Onus on Warner, Bairstow and Rashid
Runs are expected from openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, with Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson in the middle order. Rashid Khan will have the onus of picking up wickets for the side once again.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Andre Russell, Chris Green/Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): David Warner(c), Jonny Bairstow(wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
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