After a dismal home run in the past three matches, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to start fresh as they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad later today at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
The time is running out for KKR and the urgency to win a game is now more than ever. It isn't over for DK and his Knights if we look at the points table. A win will take them back in the fray of things as they'll potentially find themselves at number 4 position in the points table.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are in a similar spot. After three losses in a row, the team managed to defeat the current Champions, Chennai Super Kings comfortably in their last match.
Head to Head
SRH: 6 | KKR: 10 (Overall)
SRH: 2 | KKR: 3 (In Hyderabad)
KKR have a little edge over SRH if we look at the two team's head to head record. The two-time Champions have a win percentage of over 71% in seven matches they've played here, even better than that of the home side's 64.30% in 42 matches.
Run rate and the role of Openers
Kolkata Knight Riders has one of the most fierce batting line-up. Their ability to take less time to adjust and go about playing their shots is what puts them right at the top of best run rate (9.1) amongst all the teams in this IPL.
But except for the match against Rajasthan Royals, the openers are yet to put up a good partnership up the order. A blitz - 20 or more runs had won us the matches earlier this season. Something we've missed in our last three defeats (vs DD 0 runs, vs CSK 6 runs, vs RCB 6 runs).
David Warner - The danger man
The Australian is enjoying his return to cricket and scoring like a hungry beast. With 450 runs in just eight matches, Warner tops the list of most runs this season. His T20 record against most of our strike bowlers also favours him as he has scored at a strike rate of almost 150 against our spin-trio.
Kuldeep has got him twice out of four times in T20s which is a positive sign.
Our batsmen are scoring good amount of runs. They had a rare failure against CSK in Chennai, otherwise the runs have been coming.
While Andre Russell's role as a finisher is quite clear and he has been playing his role exceptionally well, we have seen other players chipping in as well with Nitish Rana blasting a sensational 85 in the game against RCB.
What will concern the most is how we go about our bowling and the reasonably slow & turning wicket at Rajiv Gandhi International stadium will just bring a sigh of relief to our slow bowlers.
The home team's biggest strength is also their weakness. Yes, Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. The openers are at number 1 and at 7 in most runs tally of the season. Their third best is Vijay Shankar at number 36 with 139 runs.
If KKR bowlers manage to sneak these two scalps, it might just be all over for SRH batters as the middle order hasn't contributed much yet.
The home team bowlers are also not having a good time with the ball unlike last season. No bowlers from each side is among the top 10 wicket-takers this season.
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
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), 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, Joe Denly, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Robin Uthappa
Last Five Meetings
SRH 2-3 KKR
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Date & Time: Sunday, 21st April 2019, 4 PM