Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 61 of the Indian Premier League 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Saturday (May 14). Hyderabad might have lost their last four encounters but they are still in a much better position than Kolkata in the race to the playoffs. The Orange Army have had a weird campaign so far. They started this season with a couple of defeats before going on a five-match winning streak.
However, their fortunes turned around pretty quickly. Despite all the flaws, all SRH have to do is win their remaining three matches and they will give themselves a great chance of making it through to the playoffs. Meanwhile, KKR can’t go beyond 14 points and will need a lot more results to go in their favour if they want to break into the top four, but the chances of this happening are very minimal.
Ground details and team combination
The last five matches in Pune have been won by the side batting first and the winning margins have also been pretty decent. The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has hosted 12 games so far this season and the batters here have scored runs at an average of 23.6 and a scoring rate of 8.2, which is the worst amongst all four venues. Meanwhile, a wicket has fallen every 17.2 deliveries. Both pacers and spinners have been amongst wickets at this venue but neither KKR nor SRH have an attacking spinner in their line-up.
Pat Cummins, who took three wickets in the last match, has been ruled out of the remainder of the IPL 2022 with a minor hip injury. Umesh Yadav too hasn’t played the last two games because of a calf injury, and if he is fit, the right-arm paceman would walk into the side. T Natarajan too has missed the last two encounters, but it would be ideal to have both of them in your team if they are available.
The team we've picked has a good mix of world-class batters and bowlers. But remember, while you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
Andre Russell is the only player to have achieved the double of scoring 250+ runs and picking 10+ wickets this season. In fact, the all-rounder from West Indies has achieved this in four seasons so far – IPL 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2022. Apart from smashing 281 runs in 10 innings at an average of 35.12 and a strike rate of 183.66, the 34-year-old has also claimed 14 wickets at a strike rate of 9. Among bowlers to have picked 5+ wickets this season, Russell’s bowling strike rate has been the best for a bowler hands down.
Our Criclytics Player Projection predicts Russell to score 17-25 runs and pick up 3-4 wickets in this match.
Nitish Rana getting runs is a massive boost for KKR mainly because it solves them a lot of problems as he is one of the few batters in their team who can counter spin in the middle overs. A major reason for Nitish Rana’s turnaround in the last few matches this season has been because of his form against spin. He has looked at his fluent best against spin in the last five innings averaging 117 at a strike rate of 158. After managing only 69 runs in the first five games, the left-hander has scored 224 runs in the last seven encounters at an average of 37.3.
Our Criclytics Player Projection predicts Rana to score 22-32 runs in this match.
Aiden Markram has been superb for SRH this season, slamming 326 runs in nine innings at an average of 65.20 and a strike rate of 142.98. The right-hander from South Africa has five 40-plus scores in nine innings and has been very consistent in the middle-order. He has done the majority of the scoring in the death overs for SRH, smashing 109 runs at a strike rate of 222. Amongst batters who have scored at least 100 runs in that phase, Markram has the second-best strike rate.
Our Criclytics Player Projection predicts Markram to score 19-29 runs in this match.
Here are the top-10 picks as per Criclytics projected points -
Kolkata Knight Riders - Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Umesh Yadav/Chamika Karunaratne, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson (c), Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Shashank Singh/Abdul Samad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Marco Jansen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, Kartik Tyagi/T Natarajan (subject to fitness).