High-flying Sunrisers Hyderabad is set to face a litmus test when they welcome table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in the 37th match of the Indian Premier League at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Sunday (April 30).
The defending champions had begun their title defence in style as they registered comprehensive victories over Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions.
However, two consecutive defeats threatened to derail their campaign before they quashed any such proposition with three wins in their next four games. In their last game against Kings XI Punjab, all of their top-order batsmen were looking in good form as the defending champions posted a massive 207 for 3 in the 20 over. The bowling department looked a bit out of form with the majority of the bowlers going for runs but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan bowled economical spells to help their team beat the Punjab-based outfit by 26 runs.
Talking about the visitors, Gautam Gambhir’s men are in red-hot form. With 7 wins from 9 games at a stunning net run-rate of +1.223, the two-time Indian Premier League are sitting at the top of the table. As usual, their bowlers have been doing well and they have been fully complimented by their in-form batsmen. Gautam Gambhir is leading the run-scorers’ tally while Robin Uthappa is also in the top five. On the bowling front, Nathan Coulter-Nile has been leading the pace department brilliantly while spinners Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav have also done well.
Now, before we look at the predicted eleven of Sunrisers Hyderabad, we are taking a look at the past battles of the two teams, their recent form and the talking point of the visitors.
Overall: Matches – 10, KKR Won – 7, SRH Won – 3
In their previous encounter this season at the Eden Gardens, Gautam Gambhir’s men comfortably defeated David Warner’s men. Batting first, the home team rode on Robin Uthappa’s fifty to post 172 for 6. In reply, the defending champions managed to score 155 for 6 in their 20 overs.
Recent Form (Last five matches):
SRH: W W L C W (C- Match cancelled)
KKR: W L W W W
Yuvraj Singh’s form will be a major concern for the home side. After missing two games owing to a fever, the southpaw returned in the playing eleven against Kings XI Punjab but managed to score only 15. He scored a whirlwind fifty in the first match of the season but his scores in the next four matches read-5, 26,0,3. Ashish Nehra, who was also making a comeback against Kings XI Punjab, looked off-colour and conceded 42 runs in his four overs but managed to take three wickets.
It is quite unlikely that the hosts will be disturbing the winning combination. Yuvraj and Nehra are not looking in their best forms but their experience might convince the team management to persist with them.
David Warner (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha (wk), Ashish Nehra, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul