Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have five victories in 12 league matches in IPL 2022. Currently, they are placed eighth in the points table and would need to win their remaining two matches with a much better net run rate in order to have a minimal chance of qualifying for the playoffs. In the last game, they secured a victory by 52 runs against the Mumbai Indians (MI).
After a fine performance from the batters to post 165, the bowlers were clinical with their performances too. In their next outing, they will face the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at MCA Stadium, Pune, who will also be looking to win this crucial encounter. The team is expected to include Aaron Finch and Umesh Yadav in this fixture in place of Pat Cummins and Ajinkya Rahane.
Here’s a look at the Kolkata Knight Riders’ predicted playing XI against SRH:
Openers: Venkatesh Iyer and Aaron Finch
The opening combination of KKR has failed on most occasions this season and has displayed instability in its performances. Almost all the players have failed to deliver for the team at this crucial spot. In the last game, the team management brought Ajinkya Rahane into the mix, but he could only score 25 runs off 24 balls and might not feature in the game against SRH.
Venkatesh Iyer has garnered only 175 runs in 10 innings at an average of 19.44. His top score of 50* came against Mumbai Indians (MI) in a match during the first half of the season. Although he was looking in sublime touch in the last outing, he was dismissed for a well-made 43 off 24 balls.
In this game, Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch is expected to mark his presence in the playing XI. He has scored 86 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 140.98. Apart from his innings of 58, Finch has returned with low scores and has a scope of improvement going forward.
Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh and Sheldon Jackson (wk)
Captain Shreyas Iyer has done well in the tournament scoring 336 runs at an average of 30.54 but has not been consistent with his performances. In the last game, he was dismissed for a score of six off eight balls. He would wish to perform better in the upcoming matches.
The left-handers Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh have fared well in the recent few games and have stitched crucial partnerships to help the team in posting a respectable total on the board. In the last game, Rana scored 43 runs from 26 balls, while Rinku contributed 23* from 19 balls.
In the wicket-keeper slot, Sheldon Jackson has not even produced one strong knock and needs to step up and perform well in crunch moments for KKR. He is expected to retain his place in the playing XI and would look to better his performance going ahead.
All-rounders: Andre Russell and Sunil Narine
The Caribbean all-rounders have played a key role for the Knight Riders in the last few editions, and are still the potent options who can help them to win games and have an outside chance of securing a place in the playoffs this season.
Andre Russell has scored 281 runs at an average of 35.13, which depicts his fine consistency. With the ball, he has scalped a total of 14 wickets and certainly has been one of the best all-round performers for the team.
On the other hand, Sunil Narine has taken only eight wickets but that too at a terrific economy of 5.22, and has scored 49 runs with the bat. His stats depict an average performance by him this season and he would look to better it with some fine performances in the games ahead.
Bowlers: Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy, Umesh Yadav/ Shivam Mavi
The bowlers were terrific with their performances in the last game, which helped the team to keep their hopes alive of making it to the playoffs. However, the Australian pacer Pat Cummins will not be available for the team, as he has flown back to Australia due to a hip injury. In place of him, Umesh Yadav (if considered fit) or Shivam Mavi can make a comeback to the team.
The Kiwi pacer Tim Southee has taken wickets consistently for KKR and has a total of 12 scalps in seven appearances at an economy of 7.22. In the last outing, he gave away only 10 runs in three overs and took a single wicket.
On the other hand, the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy returned to the side in the last game and finished with figures of 1/22 in three overs. He would wish to perform well in the upcoming matches for KKR.
KKR’s predicted playing XI for SRH’s clash: Aaron Finch, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Umesh Yadav/Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy.