KOLKATA: If the word ‘revenge’ has a place in sport, then Kolkata Knight Riders should be charged up to settle scores when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match here on Sunday.
After all, last year, KKR had been knocked out of the tournament by the Sunrisers in the play-offs at the Eden Gardens.
SRH will also be buoyed by the fact that they had got the better of KKR at Eden twice last season even though, overall the Kolkata side enjoys a better head-to head record against the Hyderabad outfit, winning nine out of the 15 matches that they have contested so far.
Expect a spin in the tale on Sunday as the two teams are loaded with quality spinners. If the hosts have the likes of Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine in their ranks, the Sunrisers line-up includes Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Bangladesh left-arm spinner Shakib Al-Hasan and their new recruit Shahbaz Nadeem of Jharkhand.
SRH, however, have a much better bowling unit than KKR. In Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid, they have two bowlers who are adept at opening the bowling as well as operating at the death while pacers Siddharth Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed have matured over the years.
In contrast, KKR’s pace bowling resources are depleted. They have lost three pacers – Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and South African Anrich Nortje – to injuries. This can hurt their cause in the long run. New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson and West Indian Andre Russell are not express while the Indian duo of Prasidh Krishna and Sandeep Warrier are low on experience.
KKR captain Dinesh Karthik, however, can fall back on a slew of part-time bowlers like Nitish Rana and Subhman Gill, who can chip in with a few overs.
The Sunrisers will look to the experienced David Warner to get them off to flying starts. The Australian left-hander, who returns after serving a one-year ban, had topped the batting charts in 2015 & 2017, winning the Orange Cap on both occasions. SRH coach Tom Moody indicated that Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the side in Williamson’s absence. With the World Cup just two months away, the Indian selectors will be following the performances of quite a few players.
Source : timesofindia