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HomeCricketIPL 2018 Qualifier 2 Preview: Kolkata Knights Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 2018 Qualifier 2 Preview: Kolkata Knights Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

KKR vs SRH Preview IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

One team has won four in a row; the other has lost four in a row. One team seems to depend on a couple of key batsmen; the other has a range of batsmen that can hurt you. It’s incredible to think that one finished first, and the other had their playoff hopes still in the air up until the final game.

If you were unsure of how Kolkata Knight Riders would go in IPL 2018, you weren’t alone. I was concerned with how they’d travel this season, given the distractions they faced in the lead up to the tournament. Chris Lynn and Andre Russell were under injury clouds. Mitchell Starc was ruled out. Sunil Narine had his action reported during the preceding PSL. They had the smallest squad of any team. Yet, here they are, just one game away from the final, and if you call them favourites in this game, no one can dispute you.

Sunrisers Hyderabad face the prospect of a straight sets exit after finishing top of the IPL 2018 Points Table. After their IPL best of six straight wins, they are now on a run of four straight losses, their worst ever in IPL. They were so close against CSK, but now face a big fight to make the final, and would want more from their batsmen especially.

Who will play CSK in the final? A fascinating battle awaits.

Key to a Kolkata Knight Riders win

Less than a week ago, KKR confirmed their passage to the playoffs by beating SRH away from home. The key to victory there was restricting SRH to 172, when it looked like 200+ was on the cards at one stage. 
Why did KKR restrict SRH to such a total?
When Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson are dismissed, SRH don’t seem to have the ability to kick on. KKR will be looking to do the same here, in conjunction with getting the better of the SRH attack.
KKR IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
KKR have batting talent right down the order

Key to a Sunrisers Hyderabad win

SRH were on track to defend 139 against CSK a couple of nights ago, and will need a similar bowling effort in Kolkata. I can’t see SRH winning in a high scoring game, so their bowlers are once again critical to their chances. 
What would encourage SRH is KKR’s not-so-smooth innings against RR. Sitting at 51/4 after eight overs, KKR were in a bit of trouble, and it was Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill and Andre Russell who gave the innings impetus. Rashid Khan could be the answer to keeping Andre Russell especially quiet, as he has scored just 30 runs at a SR of 103 in IPL 2018 against right arm legspin.
Also, the efforts of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson are key. Dhawan was dimissed first ball in Qualifier 1, and Kane Williamson for 24, which coincided with the team scoring a modest 139.
SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
SRH need to rediscover their prowess as a strong unit

Predicted teams

KKR look a really good unit at the moment, even with Javon Searles underwhelming so far at no. 8. I expect them to stick with the same formula.
Kolkata Knight Riders XI: 1. Chris Lynn, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), 6. Shubman Gill, 7. Andre Russell, 8. Javon Searles, 9. Piyush Chawla, 10. Kuldeep Yadav, 11. Prasidh Krishna
Carlos Brathwaite batted well against CSK, but bowled a costly 18th over. Despite this, SRH should stick with the same team, even though Alex Hales at the top would be an option worth going for.
Sunrisers Hyderabad XI: 1. Shikhar Dhawan, 2. Shreevats Goswami (wk), 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Shakib Al Hasan, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Sandeep Sharma, 11. Siddarth Kaul

Stats and Facts:

  • Head-to-Head: Matches 14, KKR 9, SRH 5
  • At Eden Gardens, KKR have won five of six matches against SRH. The first time SRH won at Eden Gardens was in IPL 2018.
  • SRH still have the best economy rate of all teams in IPL 2018 (7.88). KKR have the worst (9.07).
  • Shikhar Dhawan has played nine playoff matches in IPL, and averages just 11. At Eden Gardens, he averages 18. The time to change that is now.
  • Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine have taken nearly 50% of KKR’s wickets this season.

Prediction

Tough one to predict as both teams are very good on their day. KKR have four straight wins and SRH four straight losses, but I have a funny feeling this will be SRH’s night. Will I be proven right? We shall see.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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