IPL 2018, Playoffs, KKR vs SRH: Kolkata Knight Riders predicted XI to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Kolkata Knight Riders put on a stellar performance as they defeated the Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator of the Indian Premier League 2018 season to enter the 2nd playoff. They will now take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a bid to enter the final against the Chennai Super Kings on May 27.
The Dinesh-Karthik led side finished third on the points table with eight wins to their name. They went into the Eliminator as the favourites since they were playing in front of their home crowd and they did not disappoint.
Karthik himself was one of the top performers as he scored a well-crafted half-century and Andre Russell performed well too as he remained unbeaten on 49.
The bowlers were up to the task of defending 169 as they did not allow the Royals anywhere near their total despite picking up just four wickets.
They now have a huge task in hand as they get set to take on table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 25.
Let's take a look at their predicted XI:
Sunil Narine has been one of the most valuable players of the season, with the bat and the ball. His quickfire knocks at the top of the innings have given KKR a good start on a number of occasions and he has been impressive with the ball as well, which was expected. He will hope to get going at the top of the order against the potent bowling attack of SRH.
Chris Lynn has had a decent season so far, however, he has not been at his dangerous best. In fact, he has gone through most of his innings at a slower rate than usual. KKR will need him to get off to a flier against the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma.
Robin Uthappa has had quite a disappointing season so far. He has got off to a good start on a number of occasions and played some delectable shots, however, he has failed to convert his starts into a big score. He will need to step up his game in the virtual semifinal against SRH.
Shubhman Gill has been moved up and down the batting order and has performed reasonably well. We could expect him to come in at no. 4 in the batting line-up given the fact that Nitish Rana has not been performing well.
Dinesh Karthik has been KKR's best batsman this season. He has performed exceptionally well during chases and has single-handedly won a few matches. He has led the side with aplomb and will look to lead them to their third title in IPL history.
Nitish Rana will most likely bat lower down the order as he has not been performing too well off late. He will hope to get some form back in time and help his side reach the final.
Andre Russell was the man of the match in the previous encounter against the Rajasthan Royals as he scored 49 runs and bowled decently as well. He will look to continue his blistering form with the bat and provide the finishing touches to KKR's innings once again.
Piyush Chawla has performed consistently well this season, picking up wickets at regular intervals and troubling the batsmen. He played extremely well in the previous encounter and will look to carry his form onto the next match as well.
Kuldeep Yadav has not picked up nearly as many wickets as he would have liked but has kept the opposition's run-rate in check by not conceding too many runs. He will hope to be amongst the wickets in the next match and help his side qualify for the final.
Tom Curran will most likely replace Javon Searles in the playing XI for the playoff encounter against SRH given the fact that Searles has failed to make an impact. Curran, too, has not made much of an impact and will hope to make the most of his chance, if he does get one.
Prasidh Krishna came into the side as a replacement for Kamlesh Nagarkoti and has been one of the finds of the season. He bowls extremely quick and hits the deck hard, picks up a lot of wickets and does not concede too many runs. He could be the X-factor going into the match against SRH>
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