Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to carry forward their victory bandwagon in the IPL 10 when they play against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad a double-header Saturday encounter in Kolkata’s Eden Garden.
Interestingly, It will be a battle between two top bowling sides of the IPL and the Gautam Gambhir-led side will hope to avenge their defeat in the Eliminator round last season.
Looking at the current look at the team table, Shah Rukh Khan’s KKR began their campaign at home with an eight-wicket thrashing of Kings XI Punjab with 21 balls on Thursday after registering another win and a loss in the tournament.
With SRH also boasting a superb pace-cum-spin attack in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan, who lead the tally with 13 wickets from three matches, it promises to be a nice contest between bat and ball.
In their last match, KKR registered a superb victory over the Kings XI Punjab with the captain himself scoring the runs for the team and who can forget the masterstroke of letting Sunil Narine open the innings as the duo killed their chase with their best ever Powerplay display of 76 runs. With this, the Kolkata team also completed their 11th successive run-chase at Eden Gardens
In the transformed Eden Gardens track, India star pacer Umesh Yadav also claimed four wickets in his comeback match after an injury layoff and it will further boost their morale.
Looking at Sunrisers Hyderabad, the current Purple Cap holder Bhuvneshwar has been outstanding at the death and he and veteran Ashish Nehra are two key Indians of their pace attack that also features Mustafizur Rahman who played a key role in their 2016 title-winning journey.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who has foxed the batsmen with ease to return with six wickets from three outings, will be the one to watch out for.
Looking at the head to head record between the two teams, KKR have a 6-3 win-loss record against Sunrisers. Having lost both at home and away in the league round, SRH had the last laugh over KKR in the game that mattered most—in the Eliminator.
One of the reasons for KKR’s consistency has been their skipper Gambhir’s form with the bat. He notched up a record- equalling 33rd IPL fifty (with David Warner) during his unbeaten 72 against KXIP and the left-hander will be their key batsmen in these conditions.
The only concern for the team will be their butterfingered fielders. They virtually slipped the match out of their hands before Yadav restored parity.
Dew played a big role in SRH’s four-wicket defeat in Mumbai that halted their two-match winning run but it would not be much of a concern on Saturday with the match being a 4 PM start.
The complete squad from which the teams would be picked:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (Captain) , Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shaikb-Al-Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Ben Cutting, Naman Ojha, Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Eklavya Dwivedi, Chris Jordan, Kane Williamson, Siddharth Kaul, Ben Laughlin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mohd Nabi, Mohd Siraj, Vijay Shankar, B Sran and Pravin Tambe.