Kolkata, April 13: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will look to get back to the winning ways when they take on in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in an IPL game at the Eden Gardens on Saturday (April 14).
In their last outing, the Dinesh Karthik-led KKR lost to Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in a thrilling encounter.
Despite posting 202/6 riding on West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell's unbeaten 36-ball 88, KKR bowlers found it hard to stop Chennai as Shane Watson set up the chase with a belligerent 19-ball 42.
Later, England's Sam Billings guided MS Dhoni's team to victory with a 23-ball 56.
KKR's R Vinay Kumar had a forgettable outing as the Karnataka pacer started proceedings by conceding 16 runs in the first over and then failing to defend 17 needed in the last over.
"We went for too many runs in the Powerplay, it became really tough to pull back. In the end, it's tough when the teams have got wickets in hand," said KKR bowling coach Heath Streak.
The former Zimbabwe skipper also hinted that Aussie seamer Mitchell Johnson could return after being rested in the last game due to a niggle. There are chances that Vinay Kumar could be dropped for his poor outings in the first couple of games.
In such a case, Under-19 World Cup winning stars Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi could get a look in.
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Rinku Singh could also face the axe after failing to repay the trust shown on him in the first two games. Highly rated U-19 World Cup winning batsman Shubman Gill, in that scenario, might make his IPL debut.
Russell's explosive form with the bat and mystery spinner Sunil Narine's economical bowling are the gains from the CSK game for the men in purple.
But in SRH, they will have an opponent that has made it two wins in as many matches with a thrilling one-wicket victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday.
SRH's strength lies in their bowling which has a lot of variety. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who bowled 18 dot balls against MI, is a prime example.
2 out of 2! What a game last night. The orange cap signifies that the team and you personally, both are going good in the IPL! First time in 11 years. Hope to keep the momentum going🏏🏏😃😃😉 pic.twitter.com/wEOyKFhSOj— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) April 13, 2018
Besides Rashid, the likes of Stanlake, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shakib Al Hasan and Sandeep Sharma provide a lot of options. Bhuvneshwar did not played against MI due to back pain and it remains to be seen whether India's premier fast bowler starts against KKR or not.
KKR and SRH have met 12 times in total with the former leading the head-to-head tally 8-4.
Teams: SRH: Kane Williamson (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan Arman, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Sandeep Sharma, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi Eisakhil, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, T. Natarajan, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Ricky Bhui, Sachin Baby, Tanmay Agarwal.
KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik (Captain & wicket-keeper), Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.
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