Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are all set to play host to defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in match no. 19 of the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at Vishakhapatnam on Wednesday.
SRH have lost two close matches on the trot now; one against the Delhi Daredevils (DD), where they needed 10 runs of the last over but could manage only six of them; and the other one was against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) where they could not defend 5 runs in the last over in spite of Praveen Kumar bowling a brilliant over.
On the other hand, KKR have been playing like champions as they have won three out of their four games and are likely to have the psychological edge over SRH on Wednesday. Let's take a look at some of the key battles from this match:
Gautam Gambhir vs Dale Steyn: Gambhir has been leading his side from the front. He has managed to score three half centuries in four matches and has been their best batsman so far in IPL 2015. Meanwhile, Steyn came back into the playing XI against the Daredevils and proved to be economical and also picked up the all important wicket of Delhi skipper, JP Duminy. If Steyn is on song, then he can be the most dangerous with the new ball and in the death overs.
David Warner vs Morne Morkel: Morkel has a good record against Warner in international scenario. He has bowled well with the new ball and in tandem wih Umesh Yadav. He will be aware of Warner's weak zones and would look to trouble him by bowling at the corridor of uncertainity. Warner also has lead his side from the front like Gambhir but the other batsmen need to come in handy alongside him.
Shikhar Dhawan vs Umesh Yadav: These two have shared the nets quite often during their tour to Australia and the ICC World Cup 2015. They both know each other quite well in terms of the game. Dhawan has been getting the starts but has failed to convert them into big scores as he tends to get out on a loose delivery. Yadav on the other hand has been superb for KKR. His economy is a point of concern but he has bowled well upfront with the new ball with great pace. He was also adjudged the man of the match against the Daredevils.
Surya Kumar Yadav vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: KKR's new hitman Surya Kumar Yadav is known for his exceptional hitting skills. Leg side is his strong area and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be aware of that. Bhuvneshwar has been SRH's best bowler so far and has proved to be economical. He has worked on his death bowling and can bowl the yorkers accurately when needed.
Karn Sharma vs Yusuf Pathan: Karn has not been effective in this tournament so far and he would be raring to bowl well against the mighty KKR. He bowls quicker through the air but if he manages to slow down a bit, he can deceive any batsman with his variations. Pathan, on the other hand, holds a good record against the Sunrisers. He demolished them in the last season by smashing a 24 balls 72 and thereby propelled KKR to the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2014.
SRH would look to get their combination right and get back to winning ways. Meanwhile KKR, has been in flying form and they have impressed with their all-round performance.