After their demoralising defeat to table-toppers Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad now face a must-win game against Kolkata Knight Riders, who are on a high following back-to-back victories, in the Indian Premier League 2014 on Sunday.
The Sunrisers have earned eight points from 10 matches and suffered successive losses against Mumbai Indians on May 12 and Kings XI Punjab on May 14 at their home ground, which makes it important for the team to win on Sunday, to fetch a berth in the semi-finals.
Though the Sunrisers set a mammoth target of 205 runs in the match against Punjab, it was chased down by the latter's formidable batting line-up. The effortless chase by Punjab raised some concerns about the efficacy of Sunrisers' bowling attack comprising some of the best in the world and at home including Dale Steyn, West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy, Australian Moises Henriques, and proven Indians Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma.
The Sunrisers' star batsmen such as Aaron Finch, David Warner, Naman Ojha have risen to the occasion in recent matches and captain Shikhar Dhawan rediscovering his form augurs well for the side. The hosts need to plug the loose ends and demonstrate their combined might to ensure a win against the Knight Riders for a place in the semi-finals.
The Knight Riders, on the other hand, are high on confidence following back-to-back victories, including the one against Kings XI Punjab, and would look for a straight win against Hyderabad to consolidate their position. (Fightback shows character of KKR, says Gambhir)
KKR have 10 points from an equal number of matches. Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir and star batsman Robin Uthappa have been in fine form and the team boasts of a potent mix of foreign and domestic players.
The line-up includes Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Yusuf Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Manish Pandey all of whom have proved their mettle in different matches in the tournament.
The Teams (from):
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Dale Steyn, David Warner, Darren Sammy, Amit Mishra, Aaron Finch, irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Brendan Taylor, M Henriques, Venugopala Rao, Jason Holder, S Aniruddha, Manprit Juneja, K L Rahul, Amit Paunikar, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Ashish Reddy, Chama Milind, Parvez Rasool, Prashant Parameswaran and Karn Sharma.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Chris Lynn, Pat Cummins, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russel, Manvinder Bisla, Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Debabrata Das and Sayan Mondal