Sunrisers Hyderabad have kept on surprising even in victory when they almost succeeded in surprising themselves in taking themselves to the door of loss by turning an easy victory to hard-fought win. Steyn must be mumbling and warning, now do not expect the bowlers to perform everytime with bat too, even in very small chase. Today’s match would see if Sanga and his batsmen have learnt any lessons when they meet the defending champ in Kolkata. KKR must be confident of getting back to winning ways facing the underdogs.
The defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders have an amazing record against Hyderabad IPL team, Deccan Chargers winning 7 and losing only two that too in 2009 in South Africa when the Hyderabad-based franchise won the IPL. But Delhi Daredevils also boasted of the same record against Deccan Chargers. They realised how the change of Franchise has mattered.
Sunrisers Hyderabad shocked DD defying all history, and proved their win against Royal Challengers Bangalore was no fluke. Despite being considered very weak, Sunrisers already have 3 wins in 4 matches, with the other win coming against Pune Warriors in the first match. They are well placed at the third position behind MI and RCB, and if they win today they will be back to the top of the table again.
Kolkata Knight Riders have faced major setbacks in the their defence. In 3 matches they have just managed to win against DD, while losing two matches, one against underdogs Rajasthan Royals and then against another RCB. Their bowling appears wayward, their batsmen are unable to perform as per their fame. Even captaincy appears jaded finding first difficult to select the best XI and then in using the players properly on field.
Still, all the drawbacks take backseat when they play at home. As their bowlers can feel every inch of the pitch at Eden Gardens. They generally keep the opposition batsmen tied at Kolkata. That is their positive and makes them most dangerous when they are hosting any team.
Sunrisers must be aware of the challenge Kolkata poses. But they should be more worries for their batsmen, as they are anyways not performing upto potential anywhere, Kolkata may not be a new factor for them. Yet, it is their bowling that gives them the confidence. Their last 4 matches have shown, how in one match their bowlers failed and they lost. In other three matches, bowlers have taken them home.
Player vs Player Analysis
KKR relies more on Narine for spin and then Brett Lee/Balaji/Kallis for pace. Sunrisers can throw Amit Mishra, Ashish Reddy to counter Narine threat, and Steyn, Ishant and Perera are a successful trio so far. Bowling pitch is no option against Sunrisers.
It has to be batting pitch, although if Cameron White and Perera get some support from Sanga, Vihari and others scoring 160-odd is not a difficult task, which is the average score KKR batsmen are capable of scoring unless Gambhir and Kallis fires right at the beginning of the innings. SL allrounder Sachithra Senanayake may be difficult to handle, but Sunrisers would trust Sangakkara to tackle his Sri Lankan mate.
Overall Sunrisers have edge in bowling, but KKR bat well deep down. Rajat Bhatia supports their bowling ass well batting at lower end, while Gambhir and Kallis open well. For Sunrisers the prayer would be for a better batting performance. Any score around 140 (chase or set) would be what their bowlers can demand from them to make. Steyn, Mishra can take care of KKR if their batsmen can reach that 140-mark. If KKR goes for a batting track, that could be the best option to defy the surprise package of current edition. Otherwise, underdogs are favorite. Who would be the local heroes for Sunrisers now, would be the big question that may again play a major role in the match!!