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A match-up between two teams that were supposed to sail through to the qualifiers have hit stumbling blocks after stumbling blocks. The situation for both sides is similar though.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, even when they were winning, the question mark was always there on how the middle order will play in case the openers don’t deliver the goods. At the beginning of the tournament, the openers did, and hence Sunrisers were considered legitimate contenders. As soon as the openers started failing and the fragility of the middle to lower order has come out in the open even the cracks have begun appearing in the team. They were able to put together a win against Chennai, but the team seems to lack some rhythm.
For Kolkata Knight Riders, it’s a similar story with the difference being that Russell was able to paper over the cracks that were there in the team and played some really out of this world innings to help them notch up victories. But once Russell was not able to make that huge an impact things started to unravel, and the losses have accumulated.
Form Guide (WLLLW)
For Sunrisers it was a welcome surprise when MS Dhoni didn’t take the field and in many ways that helped them to tighten the screws and notch up a win after a long time. They’ve plummeted down the order, and the most significant cause of concern has been their middle order. Even in the previous match, Williamson and the rest failed to take advantage of the start provided by the openers. Maybe Manish Pandey deserves a look in because Vijay Shankar and Co haven’t contributed as much for a while.
The player under the spotlight
Kane Williamson is the captain of the team, but in all fairness, he’s yet to contribute much with the bat and sometimes when the captain himself is out of form it becomes tough to marshal the troops. Someone of Kane’s caliber (easily among the top 5 batsmen in the world across all formats) would be itching to finally get a knock under their belt because the pressure is starting to increase on the team.
Probable XI: David Warner, Johnny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed
Kolkata Knight Riders
Form Guide (LLLLW)
For KKR they need to think long and hard about what Robbin Uthappa is doing in the team as he’s not performed well for a long time now. They finally did the sensible thing by sending Shubhman Gill at three but now they need to stick with that in the future games as well and give the youngster a chance to perform. From team selection’s point of view, the most significant question mark right now is around Robin Uthappa, but he might still get a go for the next few games.
The player under the spotlight
Kuldeep Yadav was thrashed in the previous outing and a bowler who has been touted as (and rightly so) the best ODI bowler in the world right now, the figures of 0-59 in 4 overs are shocking. The leggie looked down in the previous game, and it would be a test for him as well to see how he tackles this situation and bounce back.
Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubhman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Harry Gurney, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
The pitch in Hyderabad has become a tad slower now and is not as conducive to strokeplay as it was earlier. A score in the region of 160 should be competitive, but SRH would have Russell to contend with.
SRH vs KKR Prediction
KKR is just too dependent on Russell at the moment and if it wasn’t for his brilliance they wouldn’t be where they are right now. SRH has slightly better avenues to win with Warner, Bairstow both in good form. We’re backing SRH to win this one.
SRH Win @ 1.92 at Bet365
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