Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Qualifier 1


Tuesday,  May 21, 2024, 7:30 PM

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Qualifier- 1 

Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad


TotaL          : 26
SRH Won   : 9
KKR Won   : 17


It is not a do-or- die game but neither team wants to be in that situation as a defeat will put them there. With the pitch expected to assist the batters, it will be a high-scoring game with the captain winning the toss choosing to field, as most captains have done this season.

Kolkata Knight Riders, two-time champions who finished at the top of the points table for the first time in 17 seasons, are short on match practice, having last played a full 40-over game on May 5. This could be a concern for Shreyas Iyer's side, who have engineered and pioneered a new approach to the IPL, almost similar to the style of their opponents, Sunrisers Hyderabad, in Qualifier 1. Both teams have redefined the game with a high-risk, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners attitude.

Thus, it will be a clash of two bold, fearless, in-form teams with a slight edge tilted towards the Hyderabad side, who are also looking for their third IPL championship. Kolkata have their season's regular opener, Phil Salt, who combined well with other opener Sunil Narine, missing since the Englishman has left for home for national duties. Narine may partner Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the game. The Afghan is yet to hit a ball in a game this season.

Sunrisers Hyderabad go-for-broke opening combination of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma is very much intact. Strange things have certainly happened in cricket, particularly in the IPL, but the success or failure of the opening combinations of the sides could determine the result of the game.

Hyderabad team has largely depended on its pacers - T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Cummins himself with Jaydev Unadkat and Marco Jansen to fall back on - and the Narendra Modi Stadium has mostly aided the pacers. The Knight Riders' arsenal has been their spinners, chiefly Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy.

A big plus for Hyderabad has been that Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who opens the attack, had been off colour initially but has found his mojo in the second half of the league while the Knight Riders have not exactly had their spearhead, Mitchell Starc, firing on all cylinders. Kolkata will need Starc (12 wickets in 11 innings), the costliest buy in the IPL history, to come to the party. If that's not enough, KKR need to be wary of the happy memories that Cummins and Head have at this venue - of winning the ODI World Cup last year.

But the only issue that may not work for SRH is the neutrality in the stands. Cummins had famously said before the World Cup final last year that nothing is more satisfying than silencing 1.3 lakh people. There may be as many people on Tuesday night as well, but they may not support the opposition as fervently as they did on November 19, 2023.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma are among the rare few batters who have enjoyed an upperhand in the battle against Sunil Narine. The veteran spinner could be held back to be utilised in the middle and late overs in a bid to control Heinrich Klassen, who enjoys a favourable matchup against the other KKR spinner - Varun Chakravarthy.
Andre Russell has dismissed Abhishek twice in 10 balls, and conceded only 11 runs. Don't be surprised if the West Indian has an early go against the in-form southpaw

Injuries/Availability : All players, barring Phil Salt, are available.
Probable XII: Rahamanullah Gurbaz (wk), Sunil Narine, Angkrish Raghuvanshi/Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh , Mitchell Starc, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy [Impact substitute: Vaibhav Arora]

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Andre Russell hasn't enjoyed a high-scoring rate in Ahmedabad, striking at just under 140 in four innings at the venue. SRH bowlers will look to force him to hit towards the long square boundaries

Injuries/Availability: They have a clean slate on this front

Probable XII: Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Nitish Reddy, Rahul Tripathi, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (c), Sanvir Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth [Impact substitute: T Natarajan]