This can well be termed as the clash of titans! Two of the top three sides of the Indian Premier League 2017, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, are going to lock horns at the home of Hyderabad and another victory will be immensely important for either of them.
Both the teams have been spectacular in recent seasons. While Kolkata have won the tournament in 2012 and 2014, Sunrisers are the defending champions at the moment. They have performed brilliantly in the other seasons too, and 2017 has not been an exception either. Till now, Gautam Gambhir and co have emerged victorious in seven out of the nine matches played so far. Hyderabad, on the other hand, won five and got one called off from their nine outings.
Knight Riders are at the top of the table and another win will consolidate their position at the top of the table. They can also boast of the best net run rate in the league and so, two points from this encounter can well ensure their qualification for the playoff spot. In that quest, they are unlikely to experiment with their starting lineup and most probably, the same eleven will take the field in Hyderabad.
The side will surely depend on the experience of Gambhir and Uthappa at the top of the order while Narine will start the proceedings to produce another valuable cameo. In the bowling department, Coulter-Nile has been magnificent in his job and he needs to be used wisely against the destructive opening pair of Hyderabad. Considering that there are three left handers in the top four of Sunrisers batting lineup, Gambhir may also choose to start with Narine.
Kolkata Knight Riders probable eleven: Gautam Gambhir (C), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (WK), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Colin deGrandhomme, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.
The home side will depend heavily on the experience of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan at the beginning of their innings. Both have produced their finest displays in recent times, and are two of the top five run scorers this season. Kane Williamson will come next and he has scored 164 runs at an impressive average of 82.00 from his three games. Other than these top three, Yuvraj and Henriques have also delivered whenever needed, the latter having notched three half centuries already in this season.
And then, in the bowling lineup, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the current purple cap holder. He has troubled every batsman in the powerplay and has been one of the best death bowlers in this campaign. Rashid Khan is also playing well and is another threat for the Kolkata batsmen. All in all, we are in for an exquisite game of cricket.
Sunrisers Hyderabad probable eleven: David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha (WK), Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Siddharth Kaul.
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