About the Match
Two of the most fancied teams in this tournament will go up against each other at the Eden Gardens in this match. Early indications suggest that KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad will be in the mix for the playoff spots and so this match could be very important in the larger scheme of things.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR have always been very difficult to beat at home and a re-laid surface that has changed the nature of the pitch did not change that. Led by some excellent bowling by Umesh Yadav and prolific run scoring from Gautam Gambhir, KKR won their first home match with ease.
The captaincy by Gautam Gambhir has been very aggressive and he has made excellent use of his resources even after being denied some of his best players due to injury. There will be a few concerns about the form of Robin Uthappa who has not got going as of now but a return to his favored opening position in the next match may be helpful.
Trent Boult and Chris Woakes have not been as effective as their international reputations suggest, with both of them having taken only 4 wickets combines so far in the tournament. A strong batting order could take advantage of their poor form and put KKR under pressure.
KKR played de Grandhomme in the last match and replaced the successful Kuldeep Yadav with Piyush Chawla. We think that the same team may play this match as well.
KKR will be up against possibly the best bowling lineup of the tournament and will need players like Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa and de Grandhomme to step up.
The defending IPL champions finally lost a match after winning their first two and we think they may revert back to what worked for them in the first place. Moises Henriques is expected to be available for selection and we think he will slot straight back in for Mustafizur Rahman.
The Bangladeshi fast bowler went for 34 runs in his 2.4 overs and was completely ineffective. There is a small possibility that the team management will give him another go but that could be at the expense of Ben Cutting.
David Warner is once again striking the ball well and looking every bit the IPL bully that he is. His was the wicket that changed the course of the last match and we suspect that it will remain like that for the remainder of the IPL.
For the Sunrisers, Yuvraj Singh is another player that has the potential to change the course of matches on his own. He has admitted to playing with much more freedom ever since he has made a comeback into the Indian team and could be moved up the order so that he can utilize his form to the fullest.
We believe this Sunrisers team may not be the strongest batting lineup but is more than capable of setting or chasing down big targets on its day.
As far as the bowling goes, the Sunrisers are once again the envy of the entire league. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is the leading wicket taker at the moment and the 4th
most economical bowler in the entire tournament.
Afghan sensation Rashid Khan is the second highest wicket-taker in the league and giving away runs at just over 6 runs per over.
Ben Cutting, Ashish Nehra, and Bipul Sharma all provide more than adequate support and form a complete bowling unit. It is this aspect of their side that won them the trophy last time around and what we believe will propel them into the reckoning this time around as well.
Head To Head
KKR has the advantage when it comes to past history between the two teams. They have won 6 out of the 9 matches played between them and all 4 that were played at the Eden Gardens. They have also won 3 out of the last 4 matches played between the two teams.
KKR will continue to dominate at home and win a tightly fought encounter. KKR to win