The Knights will go up against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday to stay in contention for a spot in the playoffs in a game which could prove pivotal in our campaign so far. With 6 points in the table, the Knights will need to be at their very best when they face the Sunrisers on their home turf.
The two teams have faced each other 24 times in the past with the Knights having come out on top on 15 occasions. In the reverse fixture, the Knights fell short by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens chasing 228. Rana’s 75 on that night was his best score this season and the skipper would be looking to lead from the front once again in this must win match.
The form of openers Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz has given the Knights both a selection conundrum and powerful ammunition heading into the final set of fixtures. Roy who missed out on the last one due to back spasms will be raring to go having looked phenomenal in the 3 matches he played. Gurbaz on the other hand impressed one and all in his attacking 81 vs the Gujarat Titans displaying fantastic skill against both pace and spin. The duo haven’t featured together so far but the Knights think tank would be tempted to look into them as an option for the opening pair heading into the crucial game.
The pitch in Hyderabad is one of the few in this year’s league that has help on offer for both the pacers and spinners. There is also a hint of rain around in Hyderabad this week, which could spice things up further for the seamers. Pacer Harshit Rana, clocked speeds above 145+ regularly, hit good lengths and swung the ball both ways in the match against the Titans. The 21 year old could prove to be a handful on this wicket and could be rewarded with his 2nd start in as many games for his performance in the previous game.
Varun Chakravarthy has been the pick of the bowlers with 13 wickets to his name and will be looking to add to his tally on a track that offers both turn and bounce. The conditions should also suit Narine and Suyash with the former particularly needing a big performance to help build momentum for the coming weeks.
The Knights have historically come up with their greatest performances when their backs are against the wall and this campaign is in need of a similar effort to get the engines going. On Thursday, with no room for error, the Knights will be prepared to go out all guns blazing in Hyderabad to grab maximum points to stay in the playoffs race.