It is game number 61 in this 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) square off against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Both these teams are placed close to each other on the points table.
After that initial run where they won three out of their first four matches, KKR haven’t stepped up. The Shreyas Iyer-led side are seventh on the points table and they have five wins and seven losses so far. They need to win every game from hereon to stand a chance of making it to the top four and also hope that other results go their way as they can reach a maximum of 14 points.
KKR have chopped and changed constantly and they have barely had a settled combination. They haven’t had a settled opening pair throughout the tournament and that’s been a huge area of concern for them. Shreyas Iyer and Andre Russell have been the only ones who’ve made some significant contributions while Rinku Singh has been impressive.
Their bowling hasn’t been consistent enough either. Sunil Narine has been extremely economical and has built pressure while Umesh Yadav’s new-ball exploits has been one of the highlights. Apart from that, there hasn’t been much to note of for KKR with the ball.
On the other hand, SRH have also had a topsy-turvy tournament so far. After losing their first two encounters, SRH won five in a row. They were looking quite solid at one stage with a fiery pace attack and a reliable batting line-up. However, their bowling attack has leaked a lot of runs and they have ended up losing four on the trot.
Kane Williamson’s poor run hasn’t helped SRH’s cause. Rahul Tripathi, Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram have looked good while Abhishek Sharma has been impressive at the top of the order. However, their bowling has just gone haywire in the last few games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the only reliable customer but the likes of Umran Malik and the others haven’t found consistency. T Natarajan’s absence has affected them as well.
- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Match 61, IPL 2022
- Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
- May 14th, 2022
Head to head record heavily in favour of KKR
KKR and SRH have played each other 22 times in the history of the IPL and KKR are clearly ahead on the head to head count. They have won 14 games while SRH have won just eight. KKR won the last four games in the lead up to this year but SRH pulled one back earlier this season.
KKR’s opening woes
KKR have used as many as six openers in this IPL 2022. They have shuffled the players around a lot and haven’t found a stable opening partnership. And no one has really been consistent either. Only one of them averages more than 20 and none more than 22. Aaron Finch is the only one to strike in excess of 120. Plus, only two fifty-plus scores and a total of four 30+ scores have come from the KKR openers (out of 24 innings).
SRH will be sweating on T Natarajan’s fitness and he will walk back into the playing XI once he is fully fit. Meanwhile, Umesh Yadav has missed the last two games for KKR and he will slot into the KKR XI straightaway as soon as he is fit.
Both teams have been inconsistent and are looking to keep their playoffs hopes alive. The winning odds could be almost neck and neck. KKR have their odds placed at 1.56 while SRH have their odds at 1.65.
Who will win the Man of the Match?
Aiden Markram is in top form with the bat and has amassed 326 runs at an average of 65.20 while striking at 142.98. He could be in contention to be the player of the match. Meanwhile, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine will be the top contenders from the KKR camp. Russell has had an all-round impact while Sunil Narine has been extremely accurate (economy of 5.22) with the ball.