Umesh Yadav against Kane Williamson could have a big say in the end result of the clash between KKR and SRH tonight (Picture Credits: IPL).
The 25th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 will see Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, 15 April. While SRH are currently eighth in the points table with two wins from four games, KKR are placed second, having won three out of five.
While SRH will head into the contest on the back of consecutive wins over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT), KKR were subjected to a 44-run defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday.
Overall, KKR lead the head-to-head stats between the two sides, having won 13 of their 20 encounters against SRH.
Three player battles to watch out for between SRH and KKR
With a couple of injuries affecting the Sunrisers squad ahead of the contest, Kolkata might just hold a slight edge. However, momentum is with Kane Williamson and Co. and that could play a huge role as far as their chances are concerned today.
On that note, let’s take a look at three player battles that could have a big say in tonight’s contest:
#1 Kane Williamson vs Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav has been in red-hot form with the new ball in IPL 2022, setting up games for the Knight Riders with wickets in the powerplay overs. With the onus on the Vidarbha seamer once again, all eyes will be on his battle against Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson.
Williamson has dominated Umesh in the IPL, striking at a rate of 197.14 while being dismissed just once. However, with SRH failing to get off to quickfire starts in the powerplay this season, Umesh might just hold the edge tonight.
How this battle pans out could have a big say in the outcome of the game. Rahul Tripathi retiring hurt in the last game casts a shadow over his availability today, meaning that the onus on Williamson is set to increase multifold. But the New Zealand skipper won’t find it easy if Umesh Yadav gets the new ball to move around.
#2 T Natarajan vs Andre Russell
When Andre Russell is around, one has got to have a plan. As far as SRH are concerned, their counter to the big hitter could come in the form of a certain T Natarajan.
A pinpoint yorker is often seen as a means of tying down Russell and in Natarajan, Hyderabad have a bowler who executes them at will. The duo have faced off just twice before, with Natarajan dismissing Russell once.
Kolkata’s batting fortunes have relied heavily on the big Jamaican this season. But the two-time champions would ideally want their shaky top order to fire against SRH. Should it boil down to Russell taking centrestage once again, the battle between him and Natarajan is bound to be a lip-smacking one!
#3 Nicholas Pooran vs Sunil Narine
Now then – this is as fiesty a proposition as it can get. KKR’s trump card against SRH’s lynchpin in the middle order. Sunil Narine has dismissed Nicholas Pooran twice in T20s, but the latter boasts an average of 45.50 and a strike rate of 142.18 against the wily Trinidadian spinner.
Narine and Pooran have been teammates and on opposing teams over the years across various T20 leagues. Considering Narine’s multiple variations and Pooran’s ability to take on spinners at will, this is bound to be a pivotal battle as far as the fortunes of both KKR and SRH are concerned.
SRH’s sluggish starts in the powerplay overs in IPL 2022 and the potential absence of both Rahul Tripathi and Washington Sundar mean that they can’t afford Pooran to have an off day. Should he get going, of course, the wicketkeeper-batter is capable of taking the game away on his own.
That said, a certain Sunil Narine will have his own strategies in place to try and stop Pooran. Given that Narine could well be held back by KKR to counter Pooran too, this is one battle you don’t want to miss out on, do you?