IPL 2017, Eliminator, Bengaluru May 16, 2017

Boom or bust for Sunrisers and KKR


Match facts

Eliminator, Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders
Bengaluru, May 17, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 02:46
Tait: Rashid not a bad option at the top against Lynn


This season: Sunrisers and KKR split their games in the group stages. KKR defended 172 at Eden Gardens in the first meeting. David Warner's response was a sensational 59-ball 126 in Hyderabad.

Overall: Sunrisers have won just four of 11 games against KKR. They won the Eliminator last season at the Feroz Shah Kotla, though.

Big picture

Peaking early and losing momentum are results of various factors: fatigue, unavailability of key personnel, morale and even losing tosses. Going into the playoffs, those issues can hinder confidence, one of the most influential traits in professional sport. Sunrisers won six of their first 10 games. KKR won seven in the same period. In eight games since, both teams won three in total.

Sunrisers have managed change effectively. Having had to alter their combination and personnel, Sunrisers had reserves - Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Siraj, Vijay Shankar and Bipul Sharma - who made telling contributions. They may be called on again - Ashish Nehra will play no further part this season with a hamstring injury and Yuvraj Singh will undergo a fitness test on Tuesday evening. Nabi, with a finger injury, is also doubtful.

KKR, on the other hand, have not found the right combination for their top order. Opening with Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn has cut Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan's roles to cameos. The uncontrollables - Chris Woakes and Shakib Al Hasan's departure for national duty, and Suryakumar Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile's injuries - damaged their balance.

Still, plenty has gone right for both teams. Either, or both, of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan have performed for Sunrisers. Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been potent weapons at any stage of an innings. For KKR, their opening combination has put them ahead of games, leaving their finishers to execute their new roles. Bowlers from both sides have stepped up and delivered too.

In T20s, any player can break a game open, but under the pressure of a knockout, who will?

The likely XIs

Sunrisers Hyderabad 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Moises Henriques, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Naman Ojha (wk), 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Rashid Khan, 10 Mohammad Siraj, 11 Siddarth Kaul

Kolkata Knight Riders 1 Sunil Narine, 2 Chris Lynn, 3 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 4 Robin Uthappa (wk), 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Ankit Rajpoot

Strategy punt

Start with a spin-pace combination against Narine and Lynn. Narine has struggled against short-pitched bowling this season. He has scored 214 runs in 120 balls, but just 18 off 18 short-pitched deliveries and has been dismissed four times. That length may not work against Lynn though; he has scored 77 runs off 28 short balls, a strike rate of 275.

Although Lynn hasn't been terrible against spin, slower bowling could be used to stall him. He has scored 178 runs off 85 balls against pace, but 107 runs off 68 balls against spin. Rashid or Nabi are plausible options against Lynn's pyrotechnics.

Stats that matter

  • Warner and Dhawan have scored 50.07% of Sunrisers' runs (1072 of 2141). In the previous season, they contributed 53% of the team's runs. No other team has had two players who contributed even 40%.

  • Narine is the only batsman to have been dismissed four times to short balls this season.

  • Sunrisers' top-three batsmen have averaged 45.06, the best for any team. KKR have the next-best average with 36.83.

  • KKR's bowlers have all made significant contributions. Their top two wicket-takers - Chris Woakes (17) and Umesh Yadav (14) - have taken 38.75% of their wickets, the lowest contributions from the top-two bowlers for any team.

  • Kuldeep Yadav has taken seven wickets in the last five overs of an innings - the joint most for a spinner.

  • KKR's batting power is at the top of their innings. They have scored the most runs in the Powerplay, with an average of 58.74 per game. They have the highest run-rate in the middle overs too - 1079 runs at 8.57 runs per over. They fade away towards the end overs though, scoring just 427 runs at 8.45 runs per over, the least among all teams.

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • deccan on May 17, 2017, 15:08 GMT

    You folks wanted K Williamson, now he is playing test match style instead of T20.

  • scarun3601634 on May 17, 2017, 14:30 GMT

    SRH will won and mumbai

  • ramesh6883203 on May 17, 2017, 14:27 GMT

    Your predictions always become wrong

  •   Dileep Thumati on May 17, 2017, 14:22 GMT

    Nabi is not dropped. Nabi has a finger injury. So SRH replaced him with another spinner, Bipul and replaced Siraj with Jordan as he has experience of playing at Bangalore for RCB last year. Good thinking.

  • Greg on May 17, 2017, 14:16 GMT

    This one's impossible to pick. Both sides have similar issues and problems. Both sides have ridden their luck and have heavy reliance on unpredictable players. Both sides have started well and finished not so well. SRH won last year, but they are not as good this year. It should probably be Nabi ahead of Williamson, on the basis that its the bowling attack that wins matches, but Nabi's only going to be a threat if he's bowled up first to Lynn and Narine. Tactics are going to play an important part. Whichever team manages to pick the weaknesses of the opposition is more likely the victor. SRH have a slight edge here, but KKR have had better consistency in matches they have needed to win.

  • kamaln5026815 on May 17, 2017, 13:54 GMT

    Who won the toss will won the game too. The first batting team will make around 160 which is chasable.

  • tariq08451063 on May 17, 2017, 13:43 GMT

    Its not raining anymore & has stopped raining from past 1hour 30minutes. Hope we get a ful game here.

  • ankit on May 17, 2017, 13:35 GMT

    Kkr with so many batting collapses have still not tried out rovman powell in a single game . Why , god knows. They dont have a hitter in lower order n still they r reluctant to try out the west indian hitter. Hopeless strategy from kkr.

  • Ashwin on May 17, 2017, 13:23 GMT

    Ardent request from people around the stadium to give constant weather updates for the benefit of cricket fans who are far away and in other cities.

  • Santosh Kanigicherla on May 17, 2017, 13:19 GMT

    KKR vs SRH: SRH have injury concerns against Yuvi and Nabi, Nehra already ruled out of the tournament. KKR is without the services of Woakes who was their standout performer with the ball in this season and also Coulter Nile fitness is a concern for them. Both teams heavily dependent on Top order to fire. Both have formidable bowling lineup. It is a match of even contest whoever holds their nerve and perform well till the end will be playing Qualifier 2. I repeat again it's not going to be a cake walk, match will go till the end. It's time for both the teams to bring their A game. SRH need to strengthen no. 3 spot by bringing in Kane Williamson into their scheme of things whereas KKR need to address their batting order.

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