Chennai: Former champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to strike an ideal stability beneath the astute management of Eoin Morgan after they open their IPL campaign against a consistent Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Sunday.
One of the perfect in enterprise within the white-ball format, Morgan took cost of an ordinary-looking KKR beneath Dinesh Karthik halfway into the final season held within the UAE. Running against time, Morgan-led aspect completed on identical factors with SRH and RCB, however the two groups superior on higher run-rate as KKR missed the playoffs for the second time in succession.
In his first stint as full time captain, all eyes could be on the ODI World Cup-winning England skipper who will look to remodel the misfiring military of cricketers and convey again the fantastic days of two-time IPL champions.
In Shubman Gill, they’ve a unbelievable younger top-order batsman who can simply shift gears, whereas the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and veteran Dinesh Karthik, who’s free from the captaincy burden, can type the core of their Indian batting. Then there’s the skipper Morgan who will look to bat by way of the overs whereas hoping that 2019 MVP Andre Russell will get again his explosive contact after a quiet season.
Russell had the worst season by his requirements averaging 13 in 9 innings and not using a single match-winning efficiency because the over-dependency on the Jamaican value KKR expensive final season.
Another West Indian who flopped large time within the UAE was Sunil Narine.
Whether it was his suspect bowling motion or his failing against the brief ball, Narine, who was instrumental of their twin triumphs in 2012 and 2014, seemed a pale shadow of his previous.
It’s time that they suppose past the Trinidadian and check out Shakib Al Hasan, their purchase on this yr’s public sale.
On the sluggish Chepauk strip, all eyes could be on the brand new ‘Knight’ and 40-year-old Harbhajan Singh, who will purpose to make most influence in what could possibly be his final IPL. They even have a thriller spinner in Varun Chakravarthy who struck it wealthy in absence of Narine final yr however his health stays a priority.
One of the extra consistent sides of IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad misplaced earlier than the ultimate hurdle, happening to runners-up Delhi Capitals within the Qualifier 2 final yr. SRH might be bolstered by the return of senior India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who performed simply 4 video games in final yr’s IPL within the UAE because of a hip damage.
Fresh from his superb type through the white-ball leg of the England collection at residence, Bhuvneshwar will spearhead their assault with yorker specialist T Natrajan by his aspect. Add Afghan star spinner Rashid Khan to the bowling lineup and the ‘Orange Army’ seems to be fairly balanced of their assault.
But the true energy of SRH might be their damaging top-order with the duo of David Warner and in-form Jonny Bairstow. They even have Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey, forming a strong high 4.
Wriddhiman Saha additionally opened for SRH final yr because the wicketkeeper-batsman and can look to show a degree after being sidelined due to Rishabh Pant’s heroics within the nationwide group.
But it stays to be seen who will play the position of the finisher for the SRH as they appear to lack muscle energy groups badly want within the final 5 overs.
KKR have a slight edge head-to-head because the Purple Brigade lead 12-7 against the Orange Army and final yr they gained each their matches against them.
KKR: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer and Pawan Negi.
SRH: David Warner (C), Kane Williamson, Virat Singh, Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Sreevats Goswami, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Kedar Jadhav, J Suchit, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Shahbaz Nadeem and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Match begins: 7.30pm IST.