After a poor start to the season, 2021’s last-placed team Sunrisers Hyderabad have found some form of late to spark life into their 2022 campaign. Kolkata Knight Riders, by way of contrast, turned in a below-par performance last-time out. But who will come out on top here? Read on for our full Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders preview and prediction:
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders Preview and Prediction
IPL So Far
Sunrisers Hyderabad started their campaign on the wrong end of a heavy defeat to the Rajasthan Royals. They were more competitive against Lucknow Super Giants, but fell 12 runs short chasing 169. They built on that momentum to dismiss Chennai Super Kings’ challenge, chasing down 154 in 17.4 overs with eight wickets still in hand. They backed that up by getting the better of Gujarat Titans, a Nicholas Pooran six off the first ball of the 20th over finishing the contest.
Kolkata Knight Riders, meanwhile, got their season off to a fine start by beating CSK to avenge their defeat in the 2021 IPL final. They were beaten in their next match by Royal Challengers Bangalore, failing to defend 128 on a difficult surface, but bounced back from that disappointment to record comprehensive victories over Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians. Their winning run was then snapped by Delhi Capitals, however, as they were bowled out for 171 chasing 215.
After their recent revival it would be a surprise to see Sunrisers Hyderabad make many changes to their side. That will see Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma, with Rahul Tripathi at number three and South Africa’s Aiden Markram at four. Pooran will bat at five with Shashank Singh at six. All-rounder Shreyas Gopal is the likeliest replacement for Washington Sundar, with Marco Jansen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik and T Natarajan completing the Sunrisers’ XI.
With their openers having struggled it would not be a surprise to see Ajinkya Rahane dropped for Aaron Finch. Venkatesh Iyer will almost certainly keep his place, however. Shreyas Iyer, Sheldon Jackson, Nitish Rana and Andre Russell will make up the KKR middle order. Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins provide plenty of power in the lower-order, with Jammu & Kashmir’s young seamer Rasikh Salam, the in-form Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarty set to round out the KKR side.
On paper it does not look like there is a great deal between these sides, notwithstanding KKR’s better start to IPL 2022. But there is perhaps something to be gleaned from KKR’s superior start to IPL 2022. T20 cricket is above all else a game of luck, but it is also a game of fine margins and KKR probably have the edge in a number of those fine margins. As a result, whilst this game could go either way, Kolkata Knight Riders are the likelier victors.
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