Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunday 3 October, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kolkata balance an issue
Kolkata's resurgence is beginning to slow. It's two defeats in three and last time out they produced a hugely disappointing effort against the flaky Punjab Kings outfit.
They didn't help themselves. They picked four specialist bowlers only, and one of those was the out-of-his-depth Tim Southee.
Clearly that sort of balance can't continue but they have been hampered by injuries to Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson, neither of whom look set to return immediately.
The confidence that the management have in replacements is exposed by the decision to play the extra batter in Tim Seifert. Sandeep Warrier or Prasidh Krishna could come in. Ben Cutting as an all-rounder could be a smarter option.
Possible XI Gill, Iyer, Tripathi, Rana, Morgan, Karthik, Cutting, Narine, Southee, Chakrathaty, Mavi
Sunrisers's play-off hopes are well and truly over, not that they were ever anything more than waiting on a miracle. Defeat by Chennai Super Kings means they will probably need to win their last three just to avoid finishing bottom.
David Warner's IPL career is almost certainly over and Sunrisers, about ten games too late, have moved on as well. Jason Roy and Wriddhi Saha are the opening pair.
We do wish they would trust Abdul Samad more and bat him at No 4. With the ball Jason Holder and Rashid Khan are proving an effective odd couple.
Probable XI Roy, Saha, Williamson, Garg, Abhishek, Samad, Holder, Rashid, Kumar, Kaul, Sandeep
The seven first-innings scores in Dubai in the re-started tournament read (1-2 denote match won batting first or second, most recent first) read: 165-2/149-2/164-2/165-1/134-2/185-1/156-1.
Punjab chased 165 on a used pitch against Kolkata on Friday but we have to factor in that weak KKR bowling attack. If KKR went with the same XI again, we could see Sunrirsers bucking their trend for low scores and threatening the overs on a runs par line in the low 150s.
KKR price may rise
Rashid Khan will note how Punjab's legbreak googly Ravi Bishnoi tied the KKR batters in knots. The four overs from the Afghan star could well be the game.
But we're loathe to take on Kolkata batting second. They will chase with confidence and are unlikely to have any fears about going after 155-165 against a Sunrisers line-up which, surprisingly, has struggled in the last two editions defending.
If the toss goes that way, keep fingers crossed for around 1.9010/11 KKR batting second. However, if Sunrisers bat second there is plenty of room in their 2.3811/8 price to trade favourites.
Plenty doing here. Russell is underrated at 7/1 for top KKR bat. It's money back if he doesn't play. Dinesh Karthik is a swerve after being cut from 14s to 11s for no reason.
For SRH we like Abdul Samad at 11/1, although we note the probability of getting twice that in-play. A 20-odd could well win it. Holder is way too big at 4/1 for top SRH bowler and on two-year return rate he cops more than Rashid. The latter is 11/1 for man of the match.
Sportsbook offer even money about KKR hitting more sixes than Sunrisers. They should probably be odds on. In this edition they average six per game to Sunrisers' 5.4. But clearly Russell's potential absence is having an impact.
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