Sizzler is on the cards as Eagles face KKR

Off-field heat apart, the teams have more than the mercury to deal with in the season's first day' match.

Hyderabad: Equations can be cruel in the unforgiving IPL. Sunrisers Hyderabad have lost the only game they have played so far and find themselves banished to the bottom of the table. Demoralising indeed, but the Eagles would look to launch a fresh flight into their campaign when they face Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening home game on what appears to be a sizzling Saturday.

Off-field heat apart, the teams have more than the mercury to deal with in the season’s first ‘day’ match. With temperatures touching 43 degree Celsius and the match set for a 4 pm start, the impulse of the toss-winning captain would be to bat first up and sap the opponents off their strength under the steaming summer Sun.

On form, there’s not much to tell between the sides. The Sunrisers haven’t got the start they would have liked. Having conceded 227 runs to Royal Challengers Bangalore, the bowling department does not present a pleasing picture.

Spearhead Ashish Nehra out with a groin injury adds to the woes. Well, the attack isn’t quite tuned yet, evident from six bowlers being pressed in to stem the river of runs on a flat bed of course.

The batting card wasn’t any better. Barring captain David Warner’s quickfire 58, there is nothing much to write about the top order. Eoin Morgan, Karn Sharma and local lad Ashish Reddy provided the late charge from No.6 downwards though, in vain.

Kolkata’s bowling has been bizarre. After having blasted off the blocks to bundle Delhi Daredevils for a mere 98 in their opener, they failed to defend a strong 187 against a marauding Mumbai in their previous game, which captain Gautam Gambhir terms ‘not our day.’ Spin twins – if you can call them that given the vast age difference – Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla have been working well in tandem and should be tricky on favourable terrain. Gambhir did not give much away when asked about Sunil Narine taking the field on the morrow but the mystery spinner was seen in full flow at practice on Friday.

All’s bright on the batting front though, with Gambhir leading the charge strongly at the top. Manish Pandey and West Indian World Cup winner Andre Russell too have been in good touch while the explosive Yusuf Pathan and Colin Munro lurk dangerously in the KKR order, which looks menacing for sure. Cricketing skills apart, it’s the team that handles the heat well that should steamroll their opponents on what looks like a belter.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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