Match 14 IPL 2017 (2017-04-15) @ Kolkata (EG)
KKR have won 5 of the 7 matches between these two teams in the last 3 years. SRH won the last encounter than was a crucial play-off match in IPL 2016.
These are two of the best T20 teams in world cricket. Currently SRH is rating Cricsq number 1 with 107 points. They are closely followed by KKR on 94 points ranked at number 3.
SRH won their first 2 games at home but were then beaten by Mumbai in Mumbai in their last match. They faced a strong Mumbai side and had a big disadvantage of losing the toss and having to bat second. They were also without Moises Henriques in that match who had scored fifties in the first 2 matches.
SRH's bowling has been the strongest in the competition. Rashid Khan had proved to be a good purchase taking key wickets and being very economical. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the tournament wicket takers with 7.
SRH are very reliant on Warner at the top for their batting. When he does well they tend to do well. They will be hoping that Yuvraj Singh returns the form he had in the first match.
KKR come into this match following an easy win against Punjab on Thursday. They were set 170 which they easily knocked off thanks to Gambhir and Narine who was promoted up the order to replace Lynn as opener. KKR's top order is in form but its middle to late order failed the one time it was tested. They also have concerns over the economy of their seam attack.
Teams batting first have a good record at Eden Gardens with teams batting second winning 64% of matches. One option is to wait for the toss and back the chasing side.
My bet has been to back SRH to win at around 2.06 on Betfair. I think they should be favorites for this match due to their superior bowling attack. They are also one of the few teams to have won setting a total when they scored 207.
KKR have relied on their top order to get their runs so far this season. Skipper Gautam Gambhir is the top tournament run scorer with 167 runs at a strike rate of 152. He has been in inspired form. With Chris Lynn out Sunil Narine was promoted up the order against KXIP to get the innings off to a fast start.
KKR also have the option of using regular opener Uthappa at the top. He is in form getting 26 off 16 in the KXIP run chase. Manish Pandey is also in form with 106 runs from 2 innings at a strike rate of 168.
The remainder of the KKR batsmen have only been tested once when setting 178 against Mumbai. They were very poor at finishing the innings only managing just over a run a ball in the death overs. Mumbai bowled well but Pathan, Yadav and Woakes need to find a way of scoring fast runs when required. They do have the option of bringing in Shakib Al Hasan to strengthen their batting and spin bowling if required.
The talk before the match at Eden Gardens on Thursday was that the pitch would not suit spinners as much as in the past. In reality it was Narine who returned the best figures for KKR with 1 for 19 off his 4 overs.
Other spin options are Piyush Chawla and Shakib. Chawla was expensive on his return to the team going for 36 in three overs. Shakib could come into the side but he would have to replace one of the other overseas players.
Umesh Yadav was the pick of the seam attack taking 4 for 33 off 4 overs against KXIP. Woakes and Boult continued to be expensive. Makes took 2 for 30 off 3 overs and Boult 0 for 36 off 4 overs. Boult was unlucky with some shocking dropped catches and poor fielding off his bowling.
Colin de Grandhomme chipped in with a wicket and went for 15 runs in 2 overs. His batting was not required. If KKR want to include Shakib they will have to drop one of de Grandhomme, Woakes and Boult. They also have the option of playing Coulter-Nile.
SRH's batting got off to a great start to the season scoring 207 against a weak RCB attack. Dhawan, Henriques and Yurvaj all got runs. Warner was their top scorer in the next two matches.
The batting does look weak in the middle order. Deepak Hooda and Ben Cutting have struggled. Ojha and tail failed in its one chance to bat when they stalled against Mumbai, in the same way that KKR did. It could just be that both teams struggled in this area because of the strength of the Mumbai death bowling.
Henriques will return this match to bat at 3. SRH also have Kane Williamson in their squad should they required extra fire power. It is time for Ben Cutting to make way for another overseas player.
Kumar and Rashid Khan are the two stars of the SRH attack so far this season. In difficult circumstances against Mumbai Rashid went for 4.75 an over and Kumar for 5.25 an over. Kumar is the top wicket taker with 7. Rashid is not far behind him on 6.
Ashish Nehra has taken 4 wickets so far but has struggled to maintain control going at 9.6 an over. Ben Cutting has scored 32 runs, taken no wickets and gone for 9.8 an over. He must be the one to make way for Henriques.
Mustafizur Rahman returned against Mumbai and went for 34 in 2.4 overs. He was an important part of SRH's winning attack last season and rated Cricsq Number 1 T20 bowler so he should maintain his place. SRH have Mohhammed Nabi in the squad should they required a spinner who can bat as an overseas player.
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