IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to rise vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunrisers Hyderabad players celebrate the fall of a Rising Pune Supergiant's wicket recently. Pic/AFP
The last time Sunrisers Hyderabad were here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, there was no match. And when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), their opponents in the IPL Eliminator, scheduled for this evening, came over, there was no contest.
Sunil Narine has dazzled with bat and ball for KKR
However, the no-result for Hyderabad and the overwhelming win for KKR was perhaps what ensured their presence, the former sneaking through, thanks to that one point from the washed out game and the latter boosting their net run-rate in that game and thus having their nose ahead at all times.
But should it have been thus for either team, both of whom possess two of the more all-round sides in the competition? Let's put it down to the nature of T20 cricket shall we, wherein anything can happen on a given day, which basically boils down to three and a half hours only.
They are here though, by hook or crook, with a promise of delivering big in a game where the loser goes home, wherever that is for the respective players.
By any yardstick, David Warner against Nathan Coulter-Nile or Chris Lynn vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an exciting match-up. Throw in the local lads Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey, both right-handers, and match them up against the two left-handers Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh (fitness permitting) and even the slowish nature of this venue's pitches for this season may not be a factor.
And should the surface come into the picture, two spinners, one from either side, will get into the action. While Sunil Narine has been there and done it all, Rashid Khan has been a revelation. Who thought a man from Afghanistan would bowl teams and fans over, and that too with his googlies.
But if Rashid has left opponents dazzled with his bowling, Narine has done so with his batting too, ever since he was promoted as an opener. It's time though for Gautam Gambhir to revisit that part and get himself back on top alongside Lynn. It's not because the experiment with Narine has failed, but more due to the rest of the batting not quite fitting into their roles thereafter.
Eye on the weather
Whoever plays for either team will have to keep an eye out for the weather too, with rains predicted. The good news is that the weathermen are not renowned for getting it right. So let's hope runs, rather than rains, prevail tonight.
Eliminator: SRH vs KKR
Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN & Sony ESPN HD, 20:00
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