Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their respective 2021 Indian Premier League campaign with a match in Chennai on Sunday (April 11). Both teams have won the IPL before and will be eager to get their hands on the trophy this season.
The Knight Riders have had the upper hand in this fixture, defeating the Sunrisers in 12 out of the 19 matches they have played against each other. In the last five fixtures between the two teams, KKR have a 3-2 lead and they won both contests last season as well.
Overall: Matches – 19 | SRH – 7 Wins | KKR – 12 Wins
Last 5 Matches: SRH – 2 Wins | KKR – 3 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we have come up with one team.
This will be the second game of the season to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. There have been nine T20 matches held here since 2019, and among the six stadiums hosting matches in IPL 2021, a run-rate of 7.2 is the least during the aforementioned period. Since 2019, a wicket has fallen every 23.4 runs and 19.5 deliveries at this venue.
In the opening match of IPL 2021 which was held at Chepauk, 319 runs were scored in 40 overs with as many as 17 wickets falling. Due to that, we have picked four frontline bowlers in our team, along with Andre Russell.
While the surface seemed to be slow in the Mumbai Indians versus Royal Challengers Bangalore game, the spinners didn’t have the best of times. Out of the 13 wickets taken by bowlers in the match, 11 went to the pacers.
This was interesting because conditions in Chennai have usually favoured spinners. Since 2019, spin has accounted for 55.1% of the dismissals here in T20 cricket. On the other hand, while pacers have bowled 49% of the overs, they’ve taken only 44.9% of the wickets. During this period, across parameters, be it economy rate (6.2 vs 8), average (20.3 vs 30.9) or strike rate (19.5 vs 23), spinners come out on top.
But having said that, we’ve shown some recency bias and gone with only one spinner in our team.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
This should be an interesting battle at the start of SRH’s innings. Pat Cummins seems to have Jonny Bairstow’s number in T20 cricket, dismissing him twice in four innings, with the England batsman struggling to score quickly against the Australia pacer. But 19 deliveries isn’t a great sample size and Bairstow would want to correct these stats in this match.
SRH have often tended to save one or two of Rashid Khan’s overs for the end of the innings and such a move in this game could see him come up against Andre Russell. The West Indies all-rounder has a batting strike rate of 171.4 against Rashid in T20 cricket but has been dismissed thrice in only 28 deliveries by the Afghanistan leg-spinner.
David Warner’s consistency in the IPL is just incredible. In his last five IPL seasons, he has won the Orange Cap three times which is truly amazing. Since joining SRH in 2014, he has scored 3819 runs at an average of 52.3 and strike rate of 145 in the IPL. During that period, no batsman has scored more. He was pretty good in IPL 2020 too, scoring 548 runs at an average of 39.1 and strike rate of 134.6.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Warner could score 21-32 runs in this match.
By his usual standards, Andre Russell didn’t enjoy a great IPL 2020. In fact, it didn’t look like he was completely fit as he bowled just 18 overs in 10 matches. If he is back to being a full-time bowler this time around, then his value in fantasy cricket will be sky high. He was quite brilliant when the IPL was last held in India in 2019, scoring 510 runs and taking 11 wickets which saw him win the Most Valuable Player award at the end of that season.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Russell could score 15-22 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
Sandeep Sharma has perhaps been one of the most underrated players in the IPL over the years. He is one among only six bowlers to have taken 100+ wickets in the IPL since 2013, the year in which he made his IPL debut. He did very well in the latter half of the IPL last season, which helped SRH book a playoff spot. Sandeep’s biggest strength is his ability to take wickets during the Powerplay – no bowler has taken more wickets than him (53) between overs 1-6 in IPL history.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Sandeep could take 1-2 wickets in this match.
In terms of runs scored, Shubman Gill had his best IPL season yet in 2020 – scoring 440 runs at an average of 33.8. His strike rate was slightly below-par at 118, but in fantasy cricket, that isn’t a major worry. Last season, out of the 14 innings he batted in, he managed to cross 25 nine times which shows that he was getting starts more often than not. A good IPL season this year would be a huge boost to his career.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Gill could score 20-31 runs in this match.