A brilliant individual effort will separate the winner from the loser as both teams have had a mixed run so far.
There is little that separates the Surisers Hyderabad (SRH) from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the two team that go head to head at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 18 in the first of the day’s two clashes of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
A win will save them from a hat-trick of losses and do well for the team morale. KKR surprised everyone when hours ahead of their previous game Dinesh Karthik stepped down as the captain to make way for Eoin Morgan who led England to World Cup victory in 2019. The change didn’t seem to have helped, at least not immediately, KKR were beaten fair and square by the Mumbai Indians by eight wickets.
Can Morgan change things around? On the points table, his team is at number four and Hyderabad at five. Not just points, the teams have been facing similar issues on the field as well.
Shubhman Gill vs Manish Pandey
Hailed as the future of the Indian batting, KKR opener Shubhman Gill has disappointed this season. His strike rate, especially in the powerplay overs when field restrictions are on, is 112, which is weighing on the team’s run rate. Manish Pandey, who bats at number 3 for Hyderabad, too, has failed to live up to his promise. He has been inconsistent and it has hurt his team.
Pat Cummins and Andre Russell
KKR must be hugely disappointed with Pat Cummins’ performance after breaking the bank for the Australian pacer during the auction. Except one game, the costliest buy of IPL 2020—Kolkata paid Rs 15.5 crore for him—is proving to be a dud investment. Cummins has just two wickets from eight matches, with the tall Australian drawing a blank in six games. Andre Russell’s lack of form has added to Kolkata’s problems. The high-profile Jamaican has managed just 83 runs at an average of less than 12.
Death over blues
If SRH bowlers are leaking runs at a rate of 11.2 in the death overs (16-20), their batsmen are the only unit in this edition to average below 10 in the final five overs.
KKR bowlers, like their rivals, have an economy rate of 11.2 in the death overs. Their top order has struggled to take off in the powerplay and the team has the lowest run rate of this season.
In a battle of equals and similar predicaments, a brilliant individual effort will make all the difference.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Eoin Morgan (captain), 5 Andre Russell, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Pat Cummins, 8 Lockie Ferguson, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Shivam MaviSunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (captain), 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Priyam Garg, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Shahbaz Nadeem, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Khaleel Ahmed, 11 T Natarajan
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