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PREVIEW: KKR all set for campaign opener vs SRH

Dinesh Karthik and his Knights will take on the touring Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening clash of VIVO IPL 2019 at the iconic Eden Gardens tomorrow. An all-round KKR side looks strong as a unit, but with David Warner in SRH's ranks, the away team will look to put up a tough fight.

A sense of avenging last year’s second qualifier loss will be on the back of the minds for Dinesh Karthik and his troops with a full house expected for this Sunday blockbuster.

Head to Head
KKR: 9 | SRH:6
Two-time champions KKR do have an advantage when you look at their head-to-head numbers. Both teams have a good track record in IPL over the years, which has seen them face each other in the playoffs over the last three editions.

Uthappa vs Rashid Khan & Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The 2014 Orange cap holder Robin Uthappa will have a huge responsibility to reduce the threat that comes from SRH's ace spinner Rashid Khan. Uthappa has the best strike rate (181) against the leggie in IPL (min 3 innings). The batsman though has played Bhuvneshwar Kumar carefully in past innings. Robbie has a strike rate of 48 in six innings against Bhuvi. 

Advantage Eden

Team KKR will be on the driving seat in front of a packed home stadium. The stands are expected to be filled with purple and gold with cheers of KKR Hai Taiyaar for some and Ami KKR for others.

Looking at the past records, the venue brings a lot of good memories for the home side, while a series of failures for SRH. In the 67 matches that KKR has played at Eden Gardens, they've won 42 of those. SRH have lost five of seven matches they've played here and have the third lowest win percentage among other teams at Eden Gardens. 

KKR Team News
Our players officially started training on 13th March in Kolkata. The team also played three warm-up matches in process and with the likes of big-hitters Andre Russell, Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine all looking sharp, the Knights are ready to go all guns right from the ball one.

The last minute injuries to Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Anrich Nortje have ruled them out of the 12th edition. Sandeep Warrier and KC Cariappa have replaced the star players from the 2018 U-19 World Cup.

Updates from SRH Camp
After spending one year of suspension period, David Warner will look to muscle the SRH batting attack once again. In a major setback to SRH team, Kane Williamson will miss out on their opening match due to injury. Explosive batters like Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda and Jonny Bairstow will look to fill the void at the start of the tournament.

In the bowling front, the visitors have one of the best bowling attacks and their record from last season speaks for itself, with Rashid Khan & Siddarth Kaul featuring in the top 3 wicket-takers list in 2018. Led by Bhuwneshwar Kumar, SRH have got a variety of options in Billy Stanlake, Sandeep Sharma and Vijay Shankar.

Teams:
KKR: Dinesh Karthik, Carlos Brathwaite, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Shrikant Mundhe, Harry Gurney, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Nikhil Naik, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn, Rinku Singh, KC Cariappa, Anrich Nortje, Joe Denly, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Robin Uthappa

SRH: Kane Williamson, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, David Warner, Mohammad Nabi, Martin Guptill, Abhishek Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Basil Thampi, Billy Stanlake, Ricky Bhui, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Hooda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami

Last five meetings
KKR 2-3 SRH

Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Date & Time: 24 March 2019, 4 PM