It will be Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in match number eight of IPL 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Both teams go into the contest having lost their previous games.
KKR came up against a fierce assault from Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and had no answers to it in their opener. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other, suffered an embarrassing batting collapse to go down to Royal Challengers Bangalore after having the match in control. Both teams would thus be keen to get off the mark.
KKR struggled in both the batting and bowling departments against Mumbai. Pat Cummins, IPL 2020’s most expensive overseas buy, had a day to forget. The others too couldn’t make much of an impression. Skipper Dinesh Karthik also made some baffling decisions, including promoting himself to number three. As for SRH, they have only themselves to blame for the defeat against RCB as they played some rather poor strokes.
With KKR and SRH looking to open their account, here are three player battles to look forward to.
#1. David Warner (SRH) vs Shivam Mavi (KKR)
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner was unlucky to have been dismissed cheaply in the first match, run out while backing up at the non-striker’s end. He will want to get some runs against his name in the contest against KKR.
Warner has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the IPL over the years. And his consistency too has been amazing. Last year, he amassed 692 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 143.86. On his day, he can destroy any bowling attack.
Shivam Mavi is not a big name in the IPL. However, he stood out in KKR’s defeat against Mumbai Indians. Not only did he bowl with decent pace, he also troubled a quality batsman like Quinton de Kock, and even got him out. Mavi later came back to dismiss a well-set Rohit Sharma as well.
While all the other bowlers were struggling, Mavi was KKR’s saving grace. Given his range of strokes and experience, Warner has a significant advantage over Mavi. But, the pace bowler’s ability to spring a surprise cannot be underestimated.
#2. Andre Russell (KKR) vs Rashid Khan (SRH)
Andre Russell did not get a chance to do much against Mumbai as he came in too late in the chase. Being KKR’s trump card with the bat, it is imperative that the franchise gives him enough opportunity to make a significant impact.
After all, Russell can turn around games in unbelievable fashion. Last year, he won some matches for KKR from impossible positions. This time too, Russell will be keen to make a major impact.
Quality spin bowling can trouble the best of batsmen. And although Rashid Khan had an off-day in the last game against RCB, he will be expected to be ready for the challenge against KKR.
The leg-spinner will mostly be bowling in the middle and late overs and is likely to come up against Russell. The West Indian big-hitter would no doubt look to go after him. This contest promises to be an intriguing one as neither player is known to back away from a challenge. Depending on the game situation, how the battle pans out could have a significant bearing on the game.
Yesterday ipl match result, check here.
#3. Eoin Morgan (KKR) vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)
When Eoin Morgan faces up to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it will be a clear contest between the unconventional and the conventional. Morgan is someone who has thrown the copybook style by the wayside and invented his own batting manual featuring some audaciously innovative hitting.
Conversely, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has remained a line-and-length bowler all through his career, adding variations like the knuckle ball as he gained experience.
Morgan did not have a good outing against Mumbai. KKR were under extreme pressure in the chase by the time he came in. Morgan could not do much of note to change the situation. But it is no secret that the England ODI captain has the talent to play brutal T20 knocks.
If he gets his eye in, he may come up against Kumar in the end overs. And this could lead to an interesting battle as the experienced Hyderabad pacer is renowned for giving away little in the death overs.Published 26 Sep 2020, 15:55 IST