MUMBAI: Smarting from four straight losses, the out-of-form Sunrisers Hyderabad will need to sort out its bowling issues when it faces an inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders here on Saturday.
Both Hyderabad (10 points from 11 matches) and Kolkata (10 points from 12 matches) are looking to stay afloat in the IPL play-off race. One of the main reasons behind SRH’s awful run in the last few games is injuries to frontline bowlers – Washington Sundar and Thangarasu Natarajan – and the loss of form of speedster Umran Malik.
While Washington had injured his bowling hand again, death over specialist Natarajan had picked up a niggle. But, coach Tom Moody was hopeful of the duo’s return against Kolkata. Malik, who looked fast and furious in the earlier games clocking 150kmph consistently, has gone wicket-less and conceded too many runs in the last few matches.
In batting, Hyderabad has the quality but skipper Kane Williamson will have to take more responsibility as he has just one fifty to show for this season. Although Abhishek Sharma has given the team solid starts, the youngster has not been able to anchor the innings. Rahul Tripathi, Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram, too, have been among runs but the Hyderabad batters will need assistance from their bowlers, who will have to ensure that they limit their opposition to a reasonable total.
Meanwhile, Kolkata is paying the price for making constant changes to its playing eleven and is staring at elimination. KKR, however, is coming into the match after beating Mumbai Indians. The 2021 finalist has struggled in the powerplay but with Venkatesh Iyer back, Kolkata produced a good effort against Mumbai. Umesh Yadav had missed the last game after pulling his calf muscle and the team would hope that he recovers for the SRH game.