Will Sunil Narine get his first game of IPL 2016, or might it be Shakib Al Hasan's turn to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders? Who will replace the injured Ashish Nehra for the Sunrisers Hyderabad? Plenty of questions are abound as SRH host KKR in an IPL 2016 match in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Narine sat out the first two games of the season, but is primed to play his first game, against SRH. Having had to fly back home for his father's funeral, Narine was not considered for the loss to the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday owing to jetlag.
While Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla did the business in the first game, a comprehensive win over the Delhi Daredevils, things did not go according to plan in the match against MI, who chased down 187 with six wickets to spare.
Considering the ease with which the MI batsmen played the KKR bowlers, Gambhir and Jacques Kallis might consider bringing in Narine or Shakib, with both yet to play a single match this season. If Narine or Shakib comes in, Kuldeep Yadav will sit out. Umesh Yadav will come in as the fast bowling option, as John Hastings will have to sit out to stick to the four foreigners quota.
KKR also have the option of playing both Shakib and Narine, at the expense of Colin Munro and Hastings.
While there is worry about the bowling, no such problems exist in the batting department, with KKR impressing with the willow in both their games. With the pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium expected to aid the batsmen, the KKR willow-wielders could make merry for the third straight match.
SRH continue to have injury concerns, after Nehra was ruled out for a few matches with a groin injury picked up in the loss to RCB. The Sunrisers bowlers were tonked out of the park by the RCB batsmen in the match, and David Warner, the skipper, will hope for a better performance against KKR, and more help for Mustafizur Rahman, who was the only one who held his nerve under the AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli-led onslaught.
Aiding in that performance could be Barinder Sran, who is a natural replacement for the injured Nehra. However, if they decide to go for more experience, Warner and Tom Moody, the coach, have the option of playing Trent Boult, but then that will mean benching the batsman Eoin Morgan, who got a game against RCB, with Kane Williamson struggling with a hamstring injury, which will keep him out for another couple of games. However, that is unlikely, because then the SRH batting, which already relies too heavily on Warner, could be weakened further, as an untested Indian will need to come in.
Expected playing XI: SRH: David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Deepak Hooda, Eoin Morgan, Ashish Reddy, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Barinder Sran, Mustafizur Rahman.
KKR: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Colin Munro, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Brad Hogg.