IPL 2021, KKR vs SRH preview: Can Hyderabad spoil Kolkata's bid for playoffs?
Kolkata Knight Riders has had a decent campaign, significantly since IPL 2021 has restarted in UAE. As it continues its bid for playoffs, it could face wiry competition from Sunrisers Hyderabad.
As the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) approaches the business-end phase, the race for the playoffs is sure to intensify hereon. On Sunday, two former champions collide, as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would be up against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 49 at the Dubai International Stadium. Here is the match preview.
While KKR continues to be in the playoffs race, it is a must-win clash for it, as a loss would virtually knock it out. It is currently placed fourth, with five wins from 12 games. As for SRH, it is already out, ranked at the bottom, with a couple of wins from 11, and would look to play the role of party-spoilers.
As far as the teams are concerned, KKR is easily heavy on its bowling. Still, its batting has been making headlines, especially the top-order, which has given a tough time to the bowlers, expressly openers Shubman Gill and uncapped Venkatesh Iyer, and also Rahul Tripathi. The plan is likely to continue, focusing on skipper Eoin Morgan, along with Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna.
On the other hand, SRH is reasonably heavy on its batting. However, it controls an exceptional bowling attack, which has at times made an impact. Notwithstanding, its batting has been its let down, even under Kane Williamson's captaincy. Thus, the focus is to go again on the skipper, along with Manish Pandey, David Warner, Mohammad Nabi, Jason Holder, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Khaleel Ahmed and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Injury concerns: For KKR, the fitness of all-rounder Russell and pacer Krishna would be in focus, while for SRH, pacer T Natarajan and all-rounder Vijay Shankar remain out for COVID.
The two teams have played together on 20 instances, with KKR leading 13-7. Out of a couple of United Arab Emirates (UAE) clashes, KKR leads 2-0, while it would be their first clash in Dubai.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Dubai would be burning, with an expected temperature of 39 degrees and 46% humidity. The pitch would play fair, with an assist from both batters and bowlers, as winning the toss hardly matters here. Yet, bowling first would be ideal.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Tim Seifert, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee and Varun Chakravarthy.
SRH: Jason Roy, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma.
Batters: Rana, Tripathi, Samad- Tripathi and Samad can fire in the top-order, while Rana has been highly consistent in the middle.
Wicketkeeper: Karthik- He is the only ideal man in form in this department.
All-rounders: Narine, Russell (c), Holder, Iyer- Narine, Russell and Holder have been impactful with the ball, while Russell's reliability makes him the skipper. Meanwhile, Iyer has been a deadly opener.
Bowlers: Kaul, Rashid (vc), Chakravarthy- Rashid and Chakravarthy have been lethal with their spins, while the former's impacts make him the deputy skipper. Similarly, Kaul has been on the rise with his pace.
Date and day: October 3, 2021 (Sunday)
Venue: Dubai International Stadium
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar