An inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will have to produce their top game against an already qualified SunRisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in order to qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 playoffs. Placed third on the IPL 2018 Points Table with 14 points, KKR will have to churn out one more victory to edge closer to a playoff spot. While KKR will be coming in the clash on the back of six-wicket victory against Rajasthan Royals, SRH will be low on confidence after suffering a 14-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a high-scoring match on Thursday night.
Kane Williamson-led SRH, who scored a magnificent 81 off 42 balls against RCB -- his eighth fifty-plus score in IPL 2018, almost won the game for SRH despite the stiff target of 219 set by Virat Kohli's RCB but RCB's on-point death bowling did not let the SRH batsmen score freely in the last overs.
The hosts will be eager to correct their bowling and fielding performance as they brace up to face another tough opposition.
SRH are likely to bring in a couple of changes and pacer Basil Thampi, who on Thursday bowled the most expensive four overs in the history of IPL, could be missing out on his place in the playing XI.
Thampi leaked 70 runs in his full quota of four overs, surpassing the previous record held by Ishant Sharma.
For KKR, spinner Kuldeep Yadav will be high on confidence after his career-best 4/20 against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens in their last game and will be aiming to emulate his own performance against the famed SRH batting line-up.
However, KKR will have to make their batting click once again to reach the top-four.
SRH: Kane Williamson (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T. Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R. Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.
(With IANS inputs)