IPL 2022 KKR vs SRH, 61st Match Preview: Hyderabad up against Kolkata in virtual knockout
Sunrisers Hyderabad have now lost four matches on the bounce.
Kolkata's wholesale changes
Kolkata Knight Riders made as many as five changes in their last match, bringing back Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, Sheldon Jackson and Pat Cummins.
One can only wonder how much better they could have fared had they persisted with this combination from the outset. Accepted that their hand was forced due to the availability of certain players but the team could have still done much better in terms of team selection and the knee-jerk changes they made.
The Brendon McCullum-led KKR management has come under fire for their choices which led to the team's campaign getting derailed after winning three of their first four matches.
The Umesh void
The absence of Umesh Yadav has been a massive setback for KKR in the last couple of matches. Umesh is the leading wicket taker for Kolkata with 15 wickets from 10 outings and almost guarantees a wicket or two in the powerplay which sets the tone for the rest of the match.
Venkatesh Iyer batted in a commanding manner in the last game against Mumbai Indians which KKR won comfortably by 52 runs while Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins and Tim Southee bowled beautifully.
Although Kolkata are still in it mathematically, it is improbable for them to make it to the playoffs from here on. That said, they would do well to stick to this combination and not make haphazard changes.
SRH search for balance
They will be up against Sunrisers Hyderabad who themselves have suffered losses from each of the last 4 matches and have slipped to the 6th spot with 5 wins from 11 matches.
Injuries to Washington Sundar and T Natarajan have really affected the balance of the side.
Time to bring Jansen back?
While their batting has been doing alright, it is the bowling which is letting them down.
The team has tried out the likes of Marco Jansen, Fazalhaq Farooqui and Sean Abbott but all of them have been expensive. It is perhaps time to go back to the lanky South African quick.
Predicted Playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders - Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson (c), Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Shashank Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Marco Jansen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, Kartik Tyagi
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