Want to be a professional cricketer?
Kolkata Knight Riders will look to get back on track when they meet the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 38th match of Vivo IPL 12 after suffering consecutive defeats. The main area of concern for KKR has been over-reliance on Andre Russell which has come to hurt them. The powerful man almost finished the game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore from a hopeless situation. He smashed a 25 balls 65 which turned the match on its head.
Being a spectator and a critic of the game, I haven’t seen a more consistent striker of the ball than Russell. There has been no player in my generation who has the ability to smash sixes so effortlessly like Andre Russell. Even with cramps and shoulder, he manages to smash sixes after sixes. He has been quite incredible in the tournament so far but the performance of his franchise has been far from impressive.
The form of Kuldeep Yadav will be a huge concern for KKR as they reach the business end of the tournament. The left arm chinaman bowler has been quite brilliant for India in the recent past but his returns for KKR this year has been pretty ordinary. He has been belted matches after matches and the 27 runs over in the last clash to Moeen Ali literally shattered his confidence and it was quite evident from his body language.
If I was part of the team management I would have definitely dropped Robin Uthappa after his horrendous knock in the previous game against Bangalore. Had he even scored a run a ball 20, KKR would have eventually won the game as the margin of defeat was just 10 runs in the end. Nitish Rana has looked in good touch and supported Russell quite brilliantly to keep the match in the balance.
On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be a very confident unit after registering a comprehensive victory against the mighty Chennai Super Kings. In the absence of MS Dhoni, the Kane Williamson led franchise was all over the yellow brigade. The bowling performance of SRH was impressive and Rashid Khan was the wrecker in chief for Hyderabad.
The batting department has been led by the opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow who have done 70% of the scoring in this tournament for SRH. The middle order has remained untested and when they have been tested, the likes of Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey and Deepak Hooda hasn’t managed to get the job done for SRH.
The form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also been an area of concern for SRH. The introduction of Khaleel Ahmed has worked for Hyderabad as he bagged 3 wickets in his comeback match. He bowled well in the previous match but went for runs in the previous few matches. It will be a great contest on our hands later today and we might see some fireworks from both teams.
Time and Venue:
The match will be played on 21st April 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, K Khaleel Ahmed
Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Matt Kelly, Prasidh Krishna
Head to Head:
Matches Played: 16 Sunrisers Hyderabad: 6, Kolkata Knight Riders- 10
The surface at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has been a batting friendly wicket but given its slowness, the pitch suits the spinners more often than not. It might be overcast conditions which might also help the faster bowlers to a considerable extent. In all, it is expected to be a sporting wicket with a score of 165-170 being par for the course in a day game.
As the match will be a 4 pm affair it will be a hot day at the office for the players. The temperature might fluctuate from 30 to 35 degrees during the match time. It might decrease towards the evening time. There was some rain in Hyderabad in the last couple of days which also disrupted the practice session for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, there is no forecast of rain on match day.
It will be an even contest between two evenly contested teams in the tournament. In the first leg of the tournament, it was Andre Russell’s heroics which totally changed the complexion of the game for Kolkata Knight Riders. I have a gut feeling that the Russell power might go onto haunt Hyderabad even in Match No 38. Hence I will go with Kolkata Knight Riders to win today’s clash.