Chennai: On Sunday, let us join in the third match of the IPL 2021 two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders ready to battle Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The Kolkata team co-owned by Shahrukh Khan finished their last year tournament by sitting at fifth position in the table. They missed out on the playoffs amid poor run-rate as compared to to Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore who finished third and fourth respectively. This time, from the start the Knights led by Eoin Morgan would be hoping to qualify as one of the top four teams.
Talking about SRH, the Orange Army is one of the most consistent sides in the history of the IPL. Despite middle-order muddle and weak bowling line-up, the David Warner side managed to play in the playoffs. SRH have added Kedar Jadhav to solve their middle-order crisis and they have ace Bhuvneshwar Kumar available for the tournament.
SRH has plethora of bowling options with the likes of T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma to name a few. They also have an equally impressive batting line-up led by southpaw and skipper David Warner, his opening partner Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and others.
Notably, Bairstow is in sublime form and is already warmed up after success in the recently concluded series against India.
Last year, KKR suffered a lot due to the over-dependency on Andre Russell as the West Indian faced extremely poor season in the UAE. This year, they have boosted their squad, especially the middle order with Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan and Karun Nair.
In the batting department, a lot will depend on how opening batsman Shubman Gill gives them a start. Their big guns such as Sunil Narine need to fire against a strong SRH bowling line-up.
With Harbhajan Singh and Ben Cutting added to their bowling department, their bowling with P Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti looks to be their strongest point this season.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 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: 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