Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be locking horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 61st match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the MCA Stadium in Pune. After a good start to the season, KKR failed to continue the early momentum and their campaign looked in all sorts of trouble. However, they managed to get their combination right in the last game finally, and are likely to stick with this playing XI for the last couple of matches unless Umesh Yadav makes a comeback.
However, their pace bowler Pat Cummins has been ruled out and he has already returned home. On the other hand, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have lost all their last four matches and they are desperate to register a win in this game. The injury to T Natarajan and Washington Sundar hasn’t helped their cause and they will be looking to get back to winning ways soon with the playoff stages approaching.
With five wins in 11 games, SRH is at the sixth position in the points table and they will also be required to improve their net run rate as well. In the 22 meetings between the two sides in IPL so far, KKR is leading the charts 14-8 against SRH in the head-to-head battles. In the last 5 meetings, however, it’s 3-2 in favor of KKR.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash, we take a look at the player battles to watch out for in the KKR vs SRH match.
#1 Kane Williamson vs Tim Southee
The out-of-form Kane Williamson has been subjected to a lot of criticism in recent times and it has ranged from mild to scathing and the SRH skipper will be keen to get his form back. With too many single-digit scores this season, Kane has looked vulnerable and helpless — something Tim Southee will be expected to exploit. Southee has been impressive for the Knight Riders as he has scalped 12 wickets from 7 matches this season at an economy rate of 7.22.
#2 Shreyas Iyer vs Umran Malik
The sheer pace and controlled length meet extreme power when KKR skipper, Shreyas Iyer will be up against the fiery pacer, Umran Malik. The SRH pacer has been a bit off-color in the last few games, scalping 0 wickets in the last 3 games and conceding runs at an economy rate of 12.5. Iyer has been in scintillating form for KKR, as he has amassed 336 runs from 12 games at an average of 30.55 and a strike rate of 129.23.
#3 Nicholas Pooran vs Sunil Narine
Nicholas Pooran has been pretty average against spinners in IPL 2022 as he has smashed a boundary every 6.4 balls against them. However, he has never faced Sunil Narine before. While Pooran has looked in decent form, and he has been pretty consistent in the last few games with scores of 19, 62, 64*. Narine was expensive with the ball in the last match. However, he will be eager to exploit the inexperienced SRH’s middle-order that’s been good enough for them, so far, this season.