New Delhi: Kolkata Knight Riders will have to get back to their winning ways when they take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League Eliminator at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.
The winner of this match will face-off against Mumbai Indians in a bid to qualify for the final and face Rising Pune Supergiant in the championship clash.
Both teams have won one match apiece this year against each other and that is why there won't be much to separate the two sides in the Eliminator as well. Cricketnext takes a look at the key battles which might decide the match.
1. David Warner vs Umesh Yadav
David Warner has been the batsman of the tournament by a million miles to say the least. The southpaw has let his bat do the talking and has led his side from the front with great aplomb. Warner comfortably leads the race for the orange cap as in 13 matches, the Aussie has slammed 604 runs, which includes one century and four half-centuries.
The man who will have the task of stopping Warner will be Umesh Yadav. The experienced Indian pacer has been quite lethal in the tournament thus far and has picked up 14 wickets in 12 matches. Umesh has also dismissed Warner thrice in the shortest format of the game and that will definitely play into the mind of the SRH skipper.
2. Shikhar Dhawan vs Trent Boult
The second best batsman of the league (in terms of runs scored) also plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad and his name is Shikhar Dhawan. The opener has been in top-form in the league and has slammed 468 runs in 13 matches for SRH.
In Chris Woakes' absence, Trent Boult will have the task to stop Dhawan before he hurts Kolkata. Boult has been hot and cold in the tournament and has only picked up 5 wickets in the four matches that he has played for KKR. Besides, Dhawan has a particular liking for Boult as in the past, Dhawan has slammed 59 runs off 45 deliveries has he has faced against the Kiwi and has never been dismissed by him.
3. Yuvraj Singh vs Sunil Narine
Yuvraj Singh has been a rock in the middle-order for SRH and has chipped in with crucial runs throughout the course of the season. The southpaw has hit 248 runs in 10 innings, which also includes two half-centuries. But he will have his work cut-out against KKR spinner Sunil Narine in the eliminator.
Yuvraj has played 46 deliveries against Narine in the past, out of which 28 have been dots balls. Yuvraj has also been dismissed by Narine once in the past.
Gautam Gambhir vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been one of the most consistent bowlers in the history of the Indian Premier League. And this season too has been no different as Bhuvi is currently the proud holder of the purple cap. Bhuvneshwar has picked up 25 wickets in 13 matches and leads the wicket-taking charts by some distance.
However, Bhuvi has come up a bit short against Kolkata Knight Riders' skipper Gautam Gambhir in the past. Gambhir has face 71 Bhuvi deliveries till date and hast hit 84 runs off it. Beside, the SRH pacer has never managed to dismiss Gambhir in the past. This will be one key battle that could decide the match.
Robin Uthappa vs Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan has been Hyderabad's best spinner in the competition this year. In 13 matches, the Afghan star has picked up 17 wickets at an incredible economy rate of under 7. However, the 18-year-old came up short against KKR's Robin Uthappa the last time these two sides met in the tournament.
Uthappa took Rashid too the cleaners and slammed 39 runs off 19 deliveries against him, which included four boundaries and three huge sixes. It will be interesting to see which way tide turns this time around as both players have been in good form.