IPL 2018: Qualifier 2, KKR vs SRH – Five Players to Watch Out for
The two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be taking on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), in the Qualifier second on Friday (May 25) at the iconic Eden Gardens and they eventually will be the favourites going into the match.
Meanwhile, Kolkata will be high on confidence having won all their last four games owing to the do-or-die situation. On the other hand, in such a contrast, Hyderabad have lost all their last four games.
Moreover, KKR holds the edge in head-to-head records with nine wins out of 14 games between the two sides.
Coming into the business end of the tournament, Dinesh Karthik and his men have ticked all the right boxes. While most teams have banked on one or two players, KKR’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is an equal contribution from all their playing XI.
Hyderabad, however, have the best bowling unit in this season. The bowlers have done a stupendous job for them and will want to continue the same on a sluggish Eden surface
With an intriguing battle on the cards, let us look at the five players to watch out for in this game:
Many doubted Hyderabad’s chances after David Warner missed out on this year’s IPL. However, Kane Williamson has smashed all those speculations leading the team from the front.
He has been spectacular with the bat scoring runs almost in all the fixtures. So far, he has notched up 685 runs from 15 games at an outstanding average of 57.08.
Moreover, he has also registered eight half-centuries already in this season.
The Sunrisers will bank on their skipper in the qualifier – to take their team to the grand finale against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Surine Narine has been a consistent performer for the Knight Riders throughout this season. Well, the ploy of sending the Windies all-rounder at the top has eventually helped the team’s cause.
The Windies all-rounder has contributed with both bat and ball and is currently the most valuable player of the tournament.
Narine has bagged 16 wickets so far from 15 games and has backed it up with 331 runs at the top.
His exploits have been detrimental for Kolkata in the latter half of the league. He will have to continue this form and take his franchise to yet another finale.
Dinesh Karthik has changed as a cricketer since taking over the captaincy role. He is batting responsibly and taking risk according to the situation.
Karthik’s ability to pace with the game according to the situation has set him apart from the rest.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has already registered 490 runs batting in the middle-order at a strike-rate of touch over 148. He has provided solidity in the Knight Riders batting unit and will look to continue it.
With the captain’s hat on, he has done a good job in his debut season as the dynamic leader. Karthik will now aim to continue doing the basics right and set a date with Chennai on May 27.
Over the past few years, Andre Russell has been an integral part of the Kolkata side. His all-round ability sets him apart in this format of the game.
Meanwhile, Russell hinted some good form early in the tournament and has chipped in with crucial contributions whenever the team wanted.
Capable of hitting long sixes, the Windies all-rounder has scored 313 runs at a strike-rate of 190.85 and has backed it up with 13 wickets.
The management will want him to be in superlative form against the best bowling attack of this league.
The young leg-spinner from Afghanistan has been phenomenal early on in his career. Rashid Khan has led the Sunrisers bowling unit and subsequently played pivotal for Hyderabad in qualifying as the table-toppers.
Although his team has had adverse result in the last few games, he has continued with his job.
Khan has picked wickets consistently and been economical throughout the tournament.
The wrist-spinner has bagged 18 wickets so far and has bowled at an economy rate of 6.78. He needs to do a superlative job and contain KKR batsmen to a modest total.
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