Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Transfers made – 2; Transfers remaining – 53
Ajinkya Rahane out – Gautam Gambhir in
Steve Smith out – David Warner in
(uncapped) Rahul Chahar out – Deepak Hooda in
Captain – David Warner
With Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan already in my team, David Warner and Gautam Gambhir are the two other players I am looking at for the match, There is no real threat for Warner, while Gambhir should be alright, too, if the Kolkata Knight Riders aren’t chasing a huge total – in which case the run-rate pressure could get to him against a relentlessly good Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack.
Given how well he has played so far, I am looking at him as a long-term pick anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
Kings XI Punjab may have fallen for the Knight Riders’ move to open with Sunil Narine, but the Sunrisers have a far better bowling attack to deal with him. Also, the move isn’t a surprise anymore.
Robin Uthappa has been unusually aggressive at the crease, and if it is the team’s ploy to ask him to bat that way, given the strike-rate of Gambhir-Uthappa pairing has been one of their biggest issues in the last couple of years, it could affect his fantasy potential.
Chris Woakes and Trent Boult were again disappointing, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shakib Al Hasan or Rovman Powell getting a chance today. That there are three left-handers in the Sunrisers top three could swing it in Powell’s favour.
Kuldeep Yadav might again walk back into the playing XI, as his replacement Piyush Chawla was carted all around the park by Kings XI last match.
For the Warner-led side, the news is that Moises Henriques is fit to play. It would be a difficult choice between Mustafizur Rahman and Ben Cutting, but after the shaky batting performance against the Mumbai Indians, Cutting may be preferred for the extra batting cushion he offers
Bipul Sharma could make his way back, too, in place of Vijay Shankar. It is not easy predicting Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh, as they are generally unreliable and have too many weaknesses.
Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab
Transfers made – 3; Transfers remaining – 50
David Warner out – Chris Morris in
Kedar Jadhav out – Rishabh Pant in
Imran Tahir out – Glenn Maxwell in
(Uncapped) Deepak Hooda out – Nitish Rana in (combination fit)
Uncapped player order – 1. Manan Vohra 2. Shahbaz Nadeem 3. Shreyas Iyer
Given what he has done in the two matches so far, I don’t think I need to say much about why you should have Chris Morris in your team. Sam Billings, on the other hand, has been struggling to convert starts, but it should only be a matter of time before he comes good. I can wait for it to happen, though.
I need an Indian wicket-keeper to replace Kedar Jadhav, who doesn’t look as appealing now that both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have made their comeback into the Royal Challengers Bangalore side. Between Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant, the latter has looked more consistent and dangerous.
Samson’s IPL and domestic cricket history suggests that consistency is something that he lacks, so I am not sure if he will be able to build on the century against the Rising Pune Supergiant side. So I have decided to side with Pant here, and it helps that he is the one who actually keeps wickets for the team.
Amit Mishra cashed in on a team that was already panicking trying to chase down an imposing target to pick up a 3-wicket haul. This could happen every now and then, but till you know for sure that this Daredevils side can post totals on board, it isn’t worth getting him in.
Coming to the KXIP side of things, Glenn Maxwell is the only player who looks guaranteed to provide returns. He has been in prime touch this season, and unlike the last two editions, hasn’t been reckless against spin either. I sense a big knock coming our way.
Hashim Amla just doesn’t seem to be worth it, as he needs a lot of things to go his way in this format to score runs – shouldn’t be chasing huge totals, the batsman at the other end needs to be scoring at a good rate and the quality of bowling shouldn’t be of the highest class. These are just too many to be hopeful of.