IPL 2020: Stern test for Karthik as KKR meet SRH

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik had a game to forget against Mumbai Indians. Photo: PTI

Abu Dhabi: Skipper Dinesh Karthik's tactical nous will once again be put to test when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on a depleted Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their second IPL 2020 fixture here on Saturday.

Much was expected from a revamped KKR set-up but it seemed Karthik did not learn from his past mistakes and made some inexplicable decisions that led to their capitulation against Mumbai Indians.

Once again, the batting position of the big-hitter Andre Russell became the talking point in their 49-run loss to Mumbai Indians.

The Jamaican, who was their highest run-getter last season with 510 runs from 249 deliveries at a stunning strike rate of 204.81, was sent in at No. 6 but by then the task had become extremely difficult.

World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who was roped in to bolster the wobbly middle order, also could not do much as the asking rate had shot past 13 by the time he came to bat at No. 5.

In bowling too, there was a tactical blunder by holding back their ace spinner Sunil Narine till the last over of power play.

On a day, their biggest buy Pat Cummins failed miserably, Narine was given a go only when his IPL 'bunny' Rohit Sharma was well set.

It defied logic to see such a defensive strategy by a team now coached by Kiwi great Brendon Mccullum who is known for his aggressive mindset.

Known to put up a balanced side on the park, SRH lacked strength and experience in their middle-order, failing miserably against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Needing just 43 runs from last five overs, SRH lost their last seven wickets for 32 runs to lose the game by 10 runs.

If that was not enough, injury to their all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has compounded their misery.

David Warner
SRH captain David Warner will be eager to bounce back after the loss to RCB. Photo: PTI

Skipper David Warner, after being run out in an unfortunate manner at the non-striker's end, will be keen to get into the act, while it remains to be seen whether Kane Williamson has recovered from his injury to bolster the batting department.

SRH bowling has always been impressive and it seems the think tank may bring in Mohammed Nabi to bowl alongside his Afghan teammate Rashid Khan while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack.

The teams (from): Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain & wk), Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik (wk), Ali Khan.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Kane Williamson, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Vijay Shankar, Sanjay Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shreevats Goswami (wk), Bavanaka Sandeep, Basil Thampi, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma.

Match starts at 7.30 pm (IST)

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