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KKR vs SRH match preview

The second game of the IPL between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad is all set to take place on the 24th of March at Kolkata.

IPL 2018 review
The Kolkata Knight Riders had a good season last year, with the new captain Dinesh Karthik finishing third in the table. They followed a unique strategy where they just bought a small squad of players and backed them to take the team home. The advantage was that every player had the teams backing and knew they were going to get a lot of games to show they talent and hence performed well. On the other hand, in case of injuries, they didn’t have enough options to go back to.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad had a great season finishing second, with their new captain Kane Williamson who had a great season with the bat as well. At the start of the season, there were doubts about how they would go without David Warner, both as player and captain, but Kane Williamson really fitted in very well in both roles.

How did the Auction go for both teams?
The one weakness that the Kolkata Knight Riders had was that they didn’t have enough back up options. They really utilized this seasons auction very well by getting backups for every key player. For example, they got Joe Denly as a backup opener to Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite for Andre Russell, and they stocked up their pace bowling options as well with Lockie Ferguson and Harry Gurney. The only area of concern will be with their Indian pace bowling department, since Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti have been ruled out.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have always had a good balance with bowling being their key strength. One of the weak areas of the Sunrisers was that they didn’t have good starts and lost early wickets at the top. To fix that problem, they got in openers like Bairstow and Guptill who were their only big buys this year. They also got Vijay Shankar through transfer, who will be a big addition to their team. The only area of concern will be when that players like Bairstow, Nabi, Rashid, S Al Hasan, and Warner are likely to leave early for World cup duties. 

Head to Head History
The Kokata Knight Riders have had the edge when it comes to head to head clashes with Sunrisers Hyderabad by winning 9 out of the 15 matches that they have played.

The same trend continues at Kolkata where they have played 6 games, out of which The Kokata Knight Riders have won 4 matches.

Player Pick
Chris Lynn, opening the batting for the Kolkata Knight Riders, will have to play a key role. He had his best IPL season last year scoring 491 runs. However, he really hasn’t brought his best to the IPL yet. With not being in the Australian radar now, he will have a point to prove and will hope to bring back the lynnsanity in this season  

All eyes will be on David Warner, for the Sunrisers Hyderabad as he is coming back after a big break filled with controversies. He will be looking to show the world that he can still play and will be hoping to wipe of the memories of last year through his performances. 

Possible Playing XI
The Kolkata Knight Riders with a reasonably small squad, will have their settled playing XI for most part of the tournament. Injuries to Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkote and Anrich Nortje would have hampered their plans to an extent.

KKR (possible): 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Sunil Narine, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Shubman Gill ,5 Nitish Rana, 6 Dinesh Karthik (c) (wk), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Piyush Chawla , 9 Lockie Ferguson/Harry Gurney, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Prasidh Krishna

The Sunrrisers Hyderabad have a solid bowling unit and a very good Indian core as well. But Kane Williamson will most probably be missing the first game with Shoulder injury and hence Bhuvneswar Kumar will be leading the team. This means that there is an option to either go with Shakib or Stanlake as the fourth overseas option.

SRH (possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Vijay Shankar, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Deepak Hooda, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar (c), 10 Siddarth Kaul,11 Billy Stanlake

Pitch Expectation
Kolkata in the past few seasons, since Sourav Ganguly has taken in charge, has started to assist the pace bowlers a bit more. Having said that the ball does come on to the bat well and hence can expect a 160-180 game. The only concern is that there has been heavy rain in Kolkata and hence the pitch might be unpredictable.  

With Both teams very well balanced, it will be a definitely be a tight contest. Though the Kolkata Knight riders have had the edge over Sunrisers Hyderabad, in this game, the Sunrisers will start favorites with their superior bowling attack.

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