KOLKATA: It’s been a disappointing start to IPL-13 for both Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad. After losing their opening encounters respectively, both teams will look to make amends and get back to winning ways when they face each other at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. This is for the first time the two teams would be playing against each other in UAE.
In an uncanny similarity, both teams fumbled in their batting departments. While, KKR’s big-hitters collapsed under pressure chasing Mumbai Indians‘ 196-run target, Hyderabad’s middle-order failed to build on the foundation laid by the top-order for a relatively comfortable 164-run chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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Once again, the batting position of Andre Russell was the talking point in KKR’s 49-run loss. The Jamaican, who was their highest run-getter last season with 510 runs, was sent at No.6, making it tough for him to play his natural game. Eoin Morgan, who was roped in to strengthen the middle order, too came in at No. 5 after Nitish Rana.
In bowling too, there was a tactical blunder by not bringing Sunil Narine in the powerplay. While Narine was their most economical bowler, Kuldeep Yadav leaked 39 in his 4 overs. The Chinaman bowler will have to be quicker through the air to restrict the Hyderabad batsmen. A lot will depend on Pat Cummins, who gave away 49 in 3 overs. KKR will hope to have in back on song in this match.
For Hyderabad, the middle-order comprising Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg and Vijay Shankar need to take more responsibilities. With Mitchell Marsh out of the IPL, Hyderabad will be hoping to have a fit Kane Williamson back in the team.
In the bowling department Hyderabad will put their hopes on Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the new ball. They also have pace options in Basil Thampi, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan, who impressed with his pace and bounce on debut. In the spin department they will need leggie Rashid Khan to pick those crucial wickets in the middle overs.