Cricket

Indian Premier League 2021: SRH vs KKR | Past champions will battle it out in early test of strength

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

After failing to make the playoffs in the last two editions, two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders will hope to start well against 2016 winner Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.

 

The team has had some issues with its batting order in recent years, and midway through the last season, Eoin Morgan took over as captain from Dinesh Karthik. The England white-ball skipper will now have the opportunity to implement his ideas from the beginning.

 

KKR managed some crucial signings in the auction. The return of Shakib Al Hasan gives the side significantly better balance, especially when he slots in alongside the explosive Andre Russell, another multidimensional cricketer.

 

The Sunil Narine experiment at the top of the order has run its course. A lot rides on whether Rahul Tripathi or Nitish Rana can set the tone with established opener Shubman Gill. With the ball, the team has a balanced attack.

 

Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna head the pace department, while the spin of Shakib and Varun Chakravarthy, if he is fit, could be more than handy at Chepauk.

 

In SRH, KKR faces the best bowling side in the competition, especially with the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who excelled against England recently. Sandeep Sharma and T. Natarajan add to a strong seam attack, while leg-spinner Rashid Khan is one of the most lethal game-changers in T20 cricket.

 

The team’s only area of concern will be the performance of Indian all-rounders Abdul Samad and Vijay Shankar. The duo will be called upon to shoulder the finishing duties with the bat and contribute to the fifth bowler’s quota if the team wants to play both Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson ahead of Jason Holder. The wicket on Friday was two-paced, and SRH, with its potent bowling attack, will feel it has an edge.

Squads

Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer and Pawan Negi.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Kane Williamson, Virat Singh, Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Sreevats Goswami, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Kedar Jadhav, J Suchit, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Shahbaz Nadeem and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Match starts: 7.30pm IST.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 10:27:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/indian-premier-league-2021-sunrisers-hyderabad-vs-kolkata-knight-riders-in-chennai/article34288664.ece

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