Sunrisers Hyderabad will be taking on table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders at Hyderabad tonight. Both teams have performed well throughout the tournament and have both won their previous matches, with KKR defeating Delhi Daredevils and SRH trumping Kings XI Punjab.
This will be the second encounter between both teams in the tournament with KKR winning their previous encounter by 17 runs. However, tonight’s game is bound to be exciting and both teams will be willing to put on a great show.
With only hours to go before the match commences, here are five winning factors for both teams.
#1. With the bat
Both teams have explosive top order batsmen who have given them terrific starts. KKR’s top order has been the finest in the tournament. The likes of Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, and Sunil Narine will provide a solid start, following which the likes of Yusuf Pathan and Colin de Grandhomme will have to take the responsibility of scoring through the middle overs as well as in a few of the slog overs.
SRH have a terrific batting lineup with Shikhar Dhawan and skipper David Warner opening the innings; both of whom have been in sensational form lately. Then, they have the likes of Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, and Yuvraj Singh who can accumulate plenty of runs during the middle-overs following which, the likes of Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha will be required to provide a finishing touch.
#2. With the ball
KKR have quite a decent bowling attack with the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, and Colin de Grandhomme. All of them are reliable pacers who can take quick wickets during the powerplays and can also bowl well during the death.
In Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, KKR have two spinners who can baffle any batsman through their crafty bowling.
SRH’s biggest strength is their bowling department which consists of the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra who can strike early and can bowl well during the death overs as well.
Siddarth Kaul has also been establishing himself as a fine bowler through his recent performances. In Rashid Khan, SRH have arguably the most reliable spinner of this year’s IPL who can contain the opposition batting well and can also chip in with a wicket or two.
Both teams have their own winning specialities, while KKR favour chasing, SRH like to defend. Hence, we might probably see SRH batting first and KKR chasing, unlike their previous encounter.
SRH would expect Warner and Dhawan to provide a start similar to the one in their previous game against Kings XI Punjab following which Williamson would produce his fireworks with assistance from Yuvraj Singh and Moises Henriques. Provided SRH’s top five fire, Hooda and Ojha may not even be required to bat.
For KKR, Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine will be expected to fire on all cylinders during the powerplay overs following which Uthappa and Manish Pandey will have to fire during the middle overs. Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, and Chris Woakes will be expected to chip in with a cameo or two during the death overs.
#4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s death over bowling
KKR might have beaten SRH earlier in the tournament but this time, they sure have their work cut out for them and one of the primary reasons for this is the fact that SRH have one of the finest death bowlers in the world in Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Bhuvi’s versatility enables him to take wickets as well as contain runs.
He has been one of the finest death bowlers in the tournament so far and is currently the holder of the purple cap with 18 wickets at a brilliant economy rate of 6.34. KKR will definitely be wary of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and it won’t be easy for Gambhir and the other batsmen to play his overs.
Also Read: IPL 2017, SRH vs KKR: Face-off
#5. KKR’s top order
Kolkata Knight Riders have the finest top order of the tournament so far with Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine opening the batting with aplomb. Gambhir has been in terrific form so far, having scored the most number of runs – 376 – at an average of 62.66 and a strike rate of 136.72.
After sporadically opening during the PSL and BBL, Narine has been made a full-time opener by the Knight Riders in this year’s IPL and he has been doing pretty well. His cameos at the beginning of the innings have turned out to be the turning point on few occasions.
After Gambhir and Narine, KKR have Robin Uthappa who has been in terrific form in the tournament so far, having scored 331 runs at an average of 41.37 and a brilliant strike rate of 168.02. Uthappa has been forming solid partnerships with Gambhir, which can be a nightmare for even a team like SRH.