Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad are two teams who feature consistently in knock-out stages of the Indian Premier League for the last couple of seasons. Both teams will be determined to set the tone right at the start of the season. For Sunrisers Hyderabad, they will face a mighty task in the home of the Kolkata Knight Riders, where they have struggled in the start. A good start for either team will give them the perfect boost while a loss could make them struggle for momentum as the league stages progress. Dinesh Karthik will be the captain of the side while there is some doubt regarding Kane Williamson’s availability for Sunrisers Hyderabad as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury which he sustained in the Tests against Bangladesh.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad have a balanced side, packed with power-hitters, all-rounders and decent bowlers. Sunrisers, though, are boosted by a power-packed bowling line-up, with Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar their aces in the pack. With David Warner returning to the top of the order, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting has been boosted. For Kolkata Knight Riders, the presence of Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell will boost their middle and top order while the likes of Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik gives the side some stability.
In the battle of the two teams, the bowling composition will be the key and on paper, Sunrisers possess a far more superior bowling attack but Kolkata Knight Riders have got all their bases covered with some good bowlers. The batting looks good with both teams equally matched.
Kane Williamson has still not recovered from the shoulder injury and he will mostly sit out of the game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be appointed the skipper. Sunrisers have three wicketkeepers and they might have to make a choice between Wriddhiman Saha, Jonny Bairstow and Shreevats Goswami. With the Eden Gardens wicket assisting pace, New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson might get a chance to get his first game for his new franchise.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Martin Guptill, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Carlos Barthwaite, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna
Who will win?
This will be a match of two teams who are balanced in all departments. However, with the match happening in Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders have home advantage but Sunrisers Hyderabad can cause an upset. In the opening game, since it is home advantage, Kolkata Knight Riders are favorites on paper.
Weather and pitch conditions
The temperature in Kolkata will be 36 degrees and with humidity of 33 percent. There is no rain expected. The pitch will assist the pacers but in hot conditions, the spinners will also come into play.
Stadium and timings
The match will be played at the Eden Gardens and the game will start at 4:00 PM IST.