Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad have started on a losing note and will look to open their accounts against each other.
These might be the early days in the tournament but the teams need to be wary in a league renowned for excruciatingly close encounters, heartbreaking exits, and near misses. If not anything else, there must be a sense of caution when the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) meet the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi on 26th September 2020.
The SRH setup must be bemused about how they let the game slip away from their hands against the RCB, whereas KKR must be wondering how they lacked intent to such a grave extent that MI simply walked all over them. With Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey at the helm during a 163-run chase, SRH looked cruising towards their first victory.
However, courtesy some gross negligence of their middle-order and some systematic bowling of Navdeep Saini and Shivam Dube, they suffered a stark collapse, and they eventually landed 10 runs short. Given SRH’s batting depth, an eight-run per over chase should not have been made a mess of, however, 8 members of the team being unable to reach double-digits with the bat is not the best way to approach a target.
The middle-order woes for the KKR were evident too, in their first game. Though they were chasing a target much bigger than SRH in their first match, the two-time champions must be disappointed that they crumbled under pressure despite boasting a robust batting-order that has the likes of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Eoin Morgan. The story of misfiring big guns was not limited merely to the middle-order as the million-dollar man Pat Cummins was unable to impress in the first game as well.
The strategy of not exposing Morgan and Russell until late and Dinesh Karthik walking in at 3 despite Shubman Gill and Narine not taking them off to a flyer is as strange as it is questionable. That KKR has a dismal record against MI was anyway a psychological edge for the opponents, however, the tactical dullness did no better for the team to improve themselves. Both the teams have started on a losing note and will look to open their accounts against each other.
Pitch and conditions
The short boundaries at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium have been the foes of bowlers, however, mixing up the lengths and slowing it down worked for some of the bowlers. The dew will play an important role and batting under the lights will be easier and therefore both teams will look to chase upon winning the toss. There will be no respite from heat and humidity.
Playing Combinations for KKR vs SRH
Kolkata Knight Riders Probable 11
Both Gill and Narine struggled to get off in the first game and will look to get amongst the runs this time around. The question for the management will be to decide the position of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell. Whether they bat Russell up the order and demote Karthik or continue with the same strategy as the first game it remains to be seen.
KKR tried Nikhil Naik in the first game, however, he was not able to impress much. Kuldeep Yadav had a horrific season last year and those memories must have haunted him in the previous game after not being able to strike his rhythm. Sandeep Warrier went wicket-less and lacked discipline, although he did well in the latter part of his spell. Shivam Mavi looked impressive and will look to emulate his performance.
Probable 11- Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Nikhil Naik, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier
Sunrisers Hyderabad Probable 11
Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey were the picks of the batsmen and SRH were looking at ease as long as they lasted. David Warner, however, fell trap to the unluckiest of dismissals that kept him away from firing at the top. Expectations from youngster Priyam Garg and Vijay Shankar were high, although they faltered. After the exit of injured Mitchell Marsh, Mohammad Nabi should pick himself easily in that slot.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not pick a wicket, however, he was mighty impressive with his line and length and conceded merely 25 in his quota. With Nabi coming in, Rashid Khan will be excited to pair with his countryman. The young all-rounder Abhishek Sharma got to bowl two overs and was unable to contribute much in that.
Probable 11- David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed
KKR vs SRH Head to Head
Played- 17 | KKR won- 10 | SRH won- 7 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
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