Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi
Go with the formidable Sunrisers openers who could give the Knight Riders’ bowlers a tough time.
Our XI: Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Mohammad Nabi, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shivam Mavi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Substitutes: Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav
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.
Captain: David Warner
Warner was run out at the non-striker’s end in the Sunrisers’ previous game. We are backing him to fire this time around. In his last two innings against the Knight Riders, Warner scored 152 runs at a strike rate of 167.03. He scored two fifties in as many games last year, one while batting first and the other chasing.
Vice-captain: Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow carried over his good form from the ODIs against Australia to the IPL. He started off his campaign this season with a power-packed 61. In the IPL, Bairstow has a strike rate of 148.61 in the powerplay and 159.21 in the middle overs, making him a dangerous batsman throughout any innings. His glovework is a bonus.
Andre Russell: He is twice as valuable since he has already started bowling for the Knight Riders this season. Batting in the top six and bowling at least a couple of overs, he is a must-have in your XI. Since 2018, Russell has scored four out of his five fifties in the IPL while batting first. His strike rate while batting first (199.27) is also greater than what he scores at batting second (185.06). So if the Knight Riders bat first, Russell could be your vice-captain.
Sunil Narine: Narine will most probably be given another go at the top of the order, making him a top-order batsman who will bowl his four overs. Given the lack of a genuine frontline quick bowler in the Sunrisers line-up, he should succeed as well. With the ball, since 2018, Narine has gone at an economy of 6.68 against the Sunrisers. Though he has picked up only four wickets in the period, a good economy could translate into points.
Rashid Khan: Arguably the best T20 bowler in the world at the moment. Though Khan has not been at his best over the past couple of months, you cannot rule him out of the equation. He will most certainly be used against Russell because in all T20s, Khan has dismissed Russell thrice, conceding 46 runs off 25 balls.
Shivam Mavi: Mavi held his nerve against the Mumbai Indians stalwarts, finishing with figures of 2 for 32, including a maiden in his four overs.
Points to note
In the absence of Marsh, Mohammad Nabi or Kane Williamson could come him. Make sure to have either or both in your XI.
If Narine doesn’t open the batting, Eoin Morgan is an option to replace him, especially if Nabi doesn’t play, as Morgan will only have a left-arm orthodox spinner and a legspinner to tackle.
Wait for the toss before choosing your vice-captain. Russell is a better choice if the Knight Riders bat first while Bairstow should pip him if the Sunrisers bat first.
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