NEW DELHI: Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will have their task cut
out against an inconsistent Sunrisers Hyderabad for a place in the
Indian Premier League's (IPL) second qualifier at the Ferozeshah Kotla
stadium here on Wednesday.
Having won both their league games
against the David Warner-led side, KKR will definitely go into the match
with the upper hand, despite finishing one notch below them on fourth
in the points table due to an inferior run-rate.
The Shah Rukh
Khan-owned side defeated Sunrisers by eight wickets in their first
meeting this season and came out victorious by 22 runs in a must-win
match on Sunday to qualify for the play-offs.
Wednesday's clash, KKR will once again bank on a good start from the
tested duo of skipper Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa. Both Gambhir and
Uthappa would have in their mind the national selectors' snub for the
upcoming tours of Zimbabwe and the West Indies despite being amongst the
runs in this edition.
While Gambhir has amassed 473 runs from 14
games with five half-centuries, Uthappa has got 383 runs under his belt
so far from as many outings. Besides the duo another India discard
Yusuf Pathan, who has been in good nick, will also aim to make a mark.
middle order boasts of young right-hander Manish Pandey and the troika
of all-rounders in West Indian Andre Russell, New Zealander Colin Munroe
and Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan.
With chinaman Kuldeep Yadav
coming to the party in the previous match, KKR will be spoilt for choice
in the bowling department which includes leg-spinner Piyush Chawla,
Sunil Narine, pacers Jason Holder, Morne Morkel, Ankit Rajpoot and Umesh
Yadav in their ranks.
On the other hand, the Sunrisers are still
to cope with the loss of veteran Ashish Nehra who was ruled out of the
remainder of the tournament following a hamstring injury.
their pace bowling has been the talk of the season, with Bhuvneshwar
Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, the spin department, led by
leg-spinner Karn Sharma, has been a disappointment.
The batting revolves around skipper David Warner, his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan and stumper Naman Ojha.
Veteran Yuvraj Singh has contributed in bits and pieces as has Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques.
Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Englishman Eoin Morgan and youngster
Deepak Hooda, who form the middle order, must contribute if the
Sunrisers fancy a chance to beat the Knight Riders.