Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Abu Dhabi
Pro Tip: Expect the Sunrisers’ batting to come good against the Knight Riders’ bowlers who are currently low on confidence
Our XI: Jonny Bairstow, Dinesh Karthik, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Andre Russell, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Shivam Mavi
Substitutes: Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Sharma, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Player availability: Sunil Narine is likely to miss this game as well for the Knight Riders
Captain: David Warner
Warner has been consistently getting the 30s and 40s but has failed to make it big. He has scored 284 runs in the tournament so far at a strike-rate of 121.88. Against an attack that has picked up only 4.5 wickets on an average in eight innings, we back Warner to get that big score.
Vice-captain: Rashid Khan
Though Khan conceded 30 runs and went wicketless in the last game, he has an economy of 5.34 and an average of 17.1 in the tournament. He is the highest wicket taker as well for the Sunrisers so far this season with 10 wickets. Among all bowlers who have bowled 50-plus balls in the middle overs this season, Khan has the second best economy – 5.13.
Eoin Morgan: Morgan has played the finisher role for the Knight Riders and has done it really well. He has only faced 20.5 balls per innings on an average in the tournament which has resulted in a strike-rate of 130.48. His strike-rate in the death overs, though, is a staggering 247.22 in the 36 balls he has faced so far. If he bats till the end, which is highly possible given he is batting at No.5, he could do a great deal of damage.
Jonny Bairstow: Since 2019, Bairstow has scored 50-plus on six occasions in 18 innings which is one every three innings. He has had a rough couple of games and the Knight Riders is the ideal opponent to play against for Bairstow given he averages 62 against them and strikes at 140.9.
Kane Williamson: Williamson has made really good use of the limited opportunities he has got so far. He has scored 152 runs at a strike-rate of 144.76. He has the highest strike-rate for his side among all batsmen who have faced 50 or more balls this season. He is the perfect finisher for the team as he has a strike-rate of 142.5 in the middle overs and 166.66 at the death since 2018.
Shivam Mavi: Mavi has been the pick of the bowlers for the Knight Riders this season. He has picked up six wickets at an economy of 8.57. He bowls in the powerplay and at the death giving him a higher chance to pick up wickets. He has been good in the both phases of the game – three wickets at an economy of 7.66 in the powerplay and one wicket at 9.66 at the death.
T Natarajan: Natarajan has been the find of the tournament for the Sunrisers. He has been nailing the yorkers on a consistent basis, keeping the batsmen tied up. He has also picked up nine wickets along the way at an economy of 8.27.
Shubman Gill is definitely a vice-captain option too. He scored an unbeaten, match-winning 70 the last time these two teams faced each other.
The Knight Riders have picked up only 4.5 wickets per innings on an average so it makes sense to have a few top-order Sunrisers batsmen. But if the Sunrisers bat second, Williamson may not get to face enough deliveries so replace him with Rahul Tripathi.
Though Mavi has picked up more wickets than Cummins, Cummins can contribute with the bat as well. So if the Knight Riders bat first, consider replacing Mavi with Cummins, but if Lockie Ferguson replaces Chris Green, bring him in for Mavi.