Eyeing their first win of the season, Sunrisers Hyderabad would be looking to put up an improved show in their home ground where they lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders, who would also be keen to get back to winning ways in the Indian Premier League.
Sunrisers suffered a 45-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening game with RCB’s Virat Kohli, A B de Villiers and Shane Watson having a blast with the bat against the hapless Hyderabad bowlers.
A victory against KKR, at the Rajiv Gandhi International cricket stadium, will go a long way in bringing Sunrisers’ campaign back on track.
Two-time title winners KKR also lost their last match, having started the tournament with a victory.
SRH could not make it to the final four last year and the task that awaits them is again easier said than done as KKR, champions in 2012 and 2014, are one of the strongest outfits in the tournament.
Though they suffered a reverse against Mumbai Indians, KKR were at its dazzling best against Delhi Daredevils.
The Knight Riders will definitely get a boost if they include mystery spinner Sunil Narine in the playing XI, who was rested in the last game after making the long journey back after attending his father’s funeral.
Narine would make a handy combination with the chinaman bowler Brad Hogg.
Even in the absence of Narine, Hogg and Andre Russel restricted Delhi Daredevils to a sub-100 total with their canny bowling.
The Shahrukh Khan-owned outfit has some classy batsmen in its ranks as well, including Robin Uthappa, skipper Gautam Gambhir, Russel and Manish Pandey.
The Sunrisers too boasts of a strong line-up and potential match winners in captain David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Moises Henriques. Dhawan’s form has been a matter of concern but he would look to come out all guns blazing.
The home side will, however, miss the services of Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Ashish Nehra tomorrow due to injuries.
The condition of Yuvraj, who sustained a fracture in his ankle during the World T20, will be reviewed within the next 10 days, the franchise said.
The team management is hopeful that Nehra, who sustained a minor groin strain in the first match against Bangalore, and Williamson (hamstring strain during World T20) will be available for selection next week.
Sunrisers has also some promising players, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Karn Sharma and new acquisition Mustafizur Rahman, in the bowling department.
Observing that the team has got abundant talent, SRH mentor VVS Laxman has recently said they should make it to the top of the tournament if they play to its potential.
“We got abundance of potential and talent in this team and if we play to our potential, we will achieve our goal which is to win the IPL,” Laxman said.
As the match is scheduled to start in the afternoon, the players would have to bear the scorching heat prevailing in the city with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees celsius.
The Teams (From):
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautham Gambhir (capt), Piyush Chawla, John Hastings, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Sheldon Jackson, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Manan Sharma, Morne Morkel, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusaf Pathan, Ankit Rajput, Andre Russell, Rajgopal Satish, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav and Umesh Yadav.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (capt), Ashish Reddy, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Shikar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhimanyu Midtun, Eoin Morgan, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Mehra, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shanker, Karn Sharma, Barinder Sran, T Suman, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh.