The Knights would want to shed the disappointment of their opening game and take the field with a new zeal.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had a forgettable start to the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). Dinesh Karthik and Co lost to the Mumbai Indians (MI) by 49 runs and are the current cellar dwellers in the T20 championship. The heavy defeat also meant that their net run rate also took a severe hit.
Their next match is against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. KKR can fancy their chances against them since SRH are also grappled with concerns. Mitchell Marsh and Kane Williamson are injured.
Moreover, the manner of their 10-wicket loss to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) won’t do good to their morale by any stretch of the imagination. For KKR, it remains to be seen if they make any changes to their eleven from the last encounter.
Here is the Predicted Playing XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders for KKR vs SRH game: –
Openers (Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine)
The Knights are likely to persist with the opening combination of Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine. For Shubman, it was a struggle in the previous game as he played out a maiden off Trent Boult. Though he got one away to the boundary, he perished, trying to play a pull shot through midwicket off Boult itself.
Gill isn’t short of talent by any means and he would be keen to find some form and rhythm. Narine, on the other hand, couldn’t get going either. He smashed a six over the leg-side boundary, but had his travails while facing the short-pitched delivery.
In the end, James Pattinson bowled a bumper and Narine found an outside-edge, caught by Quinton de Kock. However, despite the failure, Narine is expected to pose a threat to the SRH bowling attack courtesy his fearless approach.
Middle-order (Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Nikhil Naik)
KKR need to get their combination in the middle-order in place at the earliest. Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana got starts in the previous game, but couldn’t convert them. It meant that the Knights could never inject the momentum they needed to chase down 196.
Even as KKR captain Karthik got out to the leg-spin of Rahul Chahar, Rana fell prey to the slow medium pace of Kieron Pollard. Eoin Morgan also needs to strike form. In the last game, he came to bat at number five at a stage when the required-rate was way above 12.
He had to find the middle of the bat from the outset, but he strained. In 20 balls, he got only 16 runs with a four and a six before Jasprit Bumrah nipped him out. Nikhil Naik had an off day with the bat and he will wish to get some important runs under his belt.
All-rounders (Andre Russell)
It goes without saying that Andre Russell is a vital cog in the Knight Riders’ unit. However, he had his own set of difficulties in the previous contest. With the ball, he was entrusted for only a couple of overs where he gave away 17 runs.
He picked up Hardik Pandya’s wicket, though the batter was out hit-wicket. Russell got a run-a-ball 11 before Bumrah rattled his woodwork to dash KKR’s hopes.
Bowlers (Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier)
Pat Cummins failed miserably the other day. He didn’t even complete his quota of four overs, giving away 49 runs in the three overs he bowled. The likes of Saurabh Tiwary and Rohit Sharma hit him for fun. But Karthik backed him to come good later in the tournament.
Cummins, nevertheless, entertained with the bat, getting a 12-ball 33 with four sixes, including a 27-run over off Bumrah. Shivam Mavi was impressive after he picked up Rohit and Quinton de Kock’s wickets. The youngster also bowled a wicket-maiden in the over where he nipped out De Kock.
Sandeep Warrier couldn’t put a lid on the run-scoring as he leaked 34 runs. Concerns remain with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who went for 39 runs against MI in his four overs. The bowling attack needs to hit its straps at the earlier.