The Sunrisers Hyderabad have looked to be a more settled team than Kolkata Knight Riders. - IPL
Dubai - KKR looked uninspired and disjointed against Mumbai on Friday.
This is an intriguing and important contest. While Sunrisers Hyderabad have looked a more settled team than Kolkata Knight Riders, they are actually two points behind, both teams having played the same number of matches (8). So much for perceptions!
That said, KKR looked uninspired and disjointed against Mumbai on Friday. The change of captaincy, Eoin Morgan taking over from Dinesh Karthik, didn't seem to be of any help. The top order was blown away again, and yet again Andre Russell failed with the bat.
It took a half century from Pat Cummins - with Morgan batting through - to take the team through to 148, which Mumbai overhauled without breaking into a sweat.
Cummins, the most expensive overseas player in the league this year, went wicketless again. The support bowlers were not bad, but with Sunil Narine still on the bench, the attack lacked bite.
Sunrisers, however, are still behind KKR in terms of wins, and as the tournament's playoff stage approaches, the battle for points is going to get tough and bitter. They must exploit KKR's current vulnerability to get valuable points.
The top order's working well for SRH, though they haven't shown great finishing prowess apart from the one match in which Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma had a splendid, match-winning partnership.
In the bowling too, the relative inexperience of Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan and Abhishek Sharma comes through every now and then. Lynchpin Rashid Khan has been marvelous, but other bowlers need to pick up wickets at low cost too.
(Ayaz Memon is an Indian sports writer and commentator)
|Players to watch out for:
David Warner, Rashid Khan (SRH);
Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakavarthy (KKR)
X Factor: Andre Russell (KKR)