Ashish Nehra singled out SRH’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, and T Natarajan as bowlers who may create many problems for the Kolkata side.
The Indian Premier League 2021’s (IPL) first blockbuster Sunday will see two top teams go head-to-head in their first games. Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders will take on David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad in match 3 of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram, Chennai.
Ashish Nehra: Rashid Khan Can Cause All Sorts Of Problems For KKR
Since the Chepauk track offers assistance to spin, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra believes that SRH bowlers will be very useful on this pitch. Ashish Nehra played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016 and 2017. Ashish Nehra was a member of SRH’s IPL winning side in 2016.
Ashish Nehra, while speaking to Cricbuzz, observed that after seeing the first game between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he expects the pitch to be useful to spinners despite the dew.
In addition, he singled out SRH’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, and T Natarajan as bowlers who may create many problems for the Kolkata side.
“As we saw in the first game, the square boundaries are big. The ball did get wet (due to dew) but the ball was still holding up on this pitch, unlike the Wankhede (in Mumbai). We saw it with seamers as well. Talk about Dan Christian, Kyle Jamieson, and even Harshal Patel, who was still pulling off the slower balls with a wet ball.
“So, bowlers like Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Natarajan have enough experience to make good use of the conditions. Especially, Rashid Khan. If the ball is dry, then he can cause a lot of trouble for KKR,” said Ashish Nehra.
Without a shred of a doubt, SRH possesses one of the strongest bowling line-ups in the tournament among the 8 teams participating in IPL 2021. They have been for the past couple of seasons, in fact. SRH has often defended low totals in the past, making them a threatening bowling attack.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar And T Natarajan’s Presence Makes SRH A Potent Pace Attack
In Bhuvneshwar Kumar they have a two-time, back-to-back Purple Cap winner. Rashid Khan was the sixth-highest wicket-taker last season with 20 wickets. He averaged a mere 17.2-the 3rd best and conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.37 -the best in IPL 2020.
“Yorker King” T Natarajan had a breakthrough season in the UAE, picking up 16 wickets in as many matches and impressing one and all the most with his pinpoint accuracy and economy at the death for which he was rewarded with an India cap.
KKR batsmen, when they walk out to bat on Sunday, will have a huge challenge at hand to negotiate pace and spin from SRH bowlers.
The main strength of SRH is the balance they possess, especially a fantastic top order. With the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, and Wriddhiman Saha up their ranks, SRH has one of the most destructive batting line-ups.
However, one area of concern was a lean on experience middle-order last time where they depended on the likes of Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, and Abdul Samad.
SRH’s bowling too looks impressive with fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan leading the pack. The presence of Afghanistan star spinner Mujeeb-ur Rahman and yorker king T Natarajan adds the much-needed impetus to their attack. The major weakness of SRH is the absence of a finisher in their line-up. The middle-order too looked shaky in the last IPL in the UAE.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Probable XI:
David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma.
Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI:
Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (C) Dinesh Karthik, Shakib Al Hasan/Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy/Harbhajan Singh