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IPL 2017 Player battles: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Top 4 player encounters to look for

A look at four key player battles that may decide the course of KKR-SRH clash in IPL on Saturday.

Top 5 / Top 10 14 Apr 2017, 21:18 IST
Gambhir has been in superb form this IPL

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders clash in the 14th match of IPL 2017 at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. Going into this game, both teams are placed in the same position having won two and lost one.

While Sunrisers tamed Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) and Gujarat Lions in their first two encounters before tasting defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their last match, KKR drubbed Lions and Kings XI on either side of their narrow loss against Mumbai Indians.

Extra Cover: IPL 2017: KKR vs SRH, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Today's Probable playing 11 against Sunrisers Hyderabad

Gautam Gambhir’s men, though, seem to have a slight edge over David Warner’s army in Saturday’s game. In head-to-head battles between these two teams last year, KKR emerged triumphant on both occasions. Though both sides have a potent bowling attack and capable opening batting options, the home outfit seems to have a better balance in its middle order. The home advantage can’t be brushed aside either.   

Here we take a look at four key player to player battles that can go a long way in determining the result of the match.

#1 Gautam Gambhir vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Ever since he was appointed a captain of the side, Gambhir has led KKR from the front in the IPL, and this season is not anything different. In three matches, he has amassed 167 runs at a healthy strike rate of 151.81. He has scored unbeaten half-centuries in his side’s wins against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI.

Bhuvneshwar and Bangladeshi pacer, Mustafizur Rahman were among the chief architects of SRH’s title triumph last season. While Rahman missed the first two matches of this year’s IPL due to national commitment and was all over the place in the third, Bhuvi stood out among SRH pacers in all these games. He has claimed seven wickets while giving away only 5.75 runs per over.

The Gambhir-Bhuvi battle is going to be crucial at the top. The KKR captain is well capable of batting for a longer period and by holding one end, he allows the KKR middle order to flourish around him. Bhuvi, on the other hand, is an exponent of swing and has a knack for picking wickets with the new ball. Whoever wins this personal fight will do his team’s chances a world of good.

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