Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (KKR vs SRH)
Date: September 26, 2020
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Despite having a number of match-winners, both KKR and SRH started their IPL 2020 campaign on a losing note. Sunrisers were bowled out for 153 in the 19th over against Royal Challengers Bangalore, with their bowling team disappointing. They are heavily dependent on their opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairtsow, and the side will hope that they can raise their game on Saturday.
KKR, on the other hand, were humbled against Mumbai Indians in their opener. They are one of the favourites for the title this season, but failed in both the bowling and the batting department, succumbing to a huge loss. However, they have a power-packed team with players like Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill, who can stage a strong comeback.
A hot day with temperatures over 40 degrees awaits teams. There is no prediction of rain. A humid day is on the cards.
The pitch at Abu Dhabi has plenty of runs on offer, as we saw in the first two games here this season. It will have something in it for the fast bowlers as well initially.
The team that wins the toss would like to bowl as the track here is a good one to bat on. There will be dew in the latter half, with assistance for the pacers in the first few overs of the match.
KKR Expected XI and Team News
Despite losing the first game, KKR are not likely to make many changes. They might give Pat Cummins, who was expensive in the last game, another chance. The changes they might make is to get in Kamlesh Nagarkoti for Sandeep Warrier. Rahul Tripathi can come in place for Nikhil Naik.
Sunil Narine: The spinner was economical in the last game and was the only one who pegged back the run flow even as the others were going for a number of runs. He opens the innings as well, and can attack from the very start.
Andre Russell: The West Indian flopped in the opening game with the bat, but picked up a wicket with the ball in hand. He is a dangerous hitter on his day, and is unstoppable if he gets going.
Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (C/wk), Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav
SRH Expected XI and Team News
Kane Williamson is not fit, and is likely to miss the game against KKR. SRH will also be without the services of Mitchell Marsh, who has been ruled out of IPL 2020 due to an ankle injury. Jason Holder has replaced him in the squad, but will be unavailable for the clash. Nabi might replace Marsh in the XI.
Jonny Bairstow: The Englishman was the team’s highest run-scorer in the last game and will be expected to continue in the same form. He, along with David Warner, can tee off from ball one.
David Warner: Last year’s Orange Cap winner, Warner is one of the most aggressive players on his day.
David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuveneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.
Head to head record of KKR vs SRH:
Kolkata Knight Riders have a superior Head to Head record against SRH, winning 10 of the 17 games that the two have played. SRH won seven wins.
MPL Fantasy Prediction for KKR vs SRH:
WK: Jonny Bairstow opens the innings and is a better pick for the role than Dinesh Karthik. He batted with a fine strike rate in the opener, and can be unstoppable if he gets going.
Batsmen: Both teams have a number of big guns and young stars. Eoin Morgan and David Warner are two of the biggest white-ball cricketers in the world, and can run away with the game on their day. Shubman Gill and Manish Pandey are two of the most talented Indian stars and will be hoping to impress after failing to contribute in their respective teams’ opening match.
All-rounders: Both teams have attacking all-rounders, but we have gone in with three players from KKR, who can never be overlooked while picking a fantasy team. Andre Russell is the biggest match-winner if he gets his groove, while Narine sends down his four overs in every match and also opens the innings. Nitish Rana is yet another exciting batsman to watch out for. Though KKR did not utilize him with the ball in the last game, his off-spinners have helped KKR pick up a number of vital wickets in the past.
Bowlers: The fact that we have picked expensive players in the batting and the all-round departments means we are left with 24 credits for the three bowlers. Shivam Mavi had a day to remember against Mumbai and has been picked. Sandeep Sharma has plenty of experience, while T Natarajan will hope to impress in the middle overs.
Captain and VC: Andre Russell and David Warner
Match Prediction for KKR vs SRH:
Despite the fact that Kolkata Knight Riders did not have the best game in their opening match, on paper, they are a much better unit when compared to Sunrisers. SRH depend heavily on their opening duo, and have little firepower in their bowling attack as well. If KKR can send both Warner and Bairstow back to the dressing room early on, they will have a huge advantage.
Kolkata Knight Riders are the favourites to win.
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