Hosts KKR look to revive campaign against Sunrisers
After a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will look to bounce back strongly against Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home ground - the Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Both sides are aware that another slip-up will jeopardise their chances of making it till the play-offs. While KKR are fourth on the league table with nine points from nine matches, Sunrisers are a rung below at fifth with 8 points from as many encounters.
But the visitors will still be oozing with confidence as they come into the match on the back of a morale-boosting win against Chennai Super Kings. Skipper David Warner led his side’s charge as they posted a mammoth 192/7 and restricted the Super Kings to 170 for six in Hyderabad on Saturday.
The Knights on the other hand suffered a reverse result at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday as they lost a close contest against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a rain-curtailed match of 10 overs. The Royal Challengers got over the line with just two balls to spare.
The odds favour Kolkata as they have clinched three of five games played. But in the first leg it was the Sunrisers who had the last laugh in Visakhapatnam, winning the game by 16 runs via the Duck-Worth Lewis method.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir will plot the downfall of Sunrisers’ formidable batting top order led by Warner. It will be interesting to see if he gets back South African Morne Morkel in place of Pat Cummins, who has not excelled so far. Veteran Australian spinner, Brad Hogg, 44, needs to be at his best as the entire bowling outfit of his team revolves around his performance.
The match will provide another fascinating contest when the KKR batsmen tackle the Hyderabad death bowlers boosted by New Zealander Trent Boult and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who have a considerable reportoire of different deliveries to outfox the batsmen.
Both sides will go into the match knowing there are only a handful games left to make the cut into the last four.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav Veer, Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Sumit Narwal, Sheldon Jackson, Aditya Garhwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Manish Pandey ,Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Pat
Cummins, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell, Brad Hogg, Azhar Mahmood, Johan Botha.