KKR vs SRH – The eighth match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the eighth game of IPL 2020.
Three seasons ago, SRH were said to be in possession of one of the most talented pace-bowling attacks in the IPL. However, over the past couple of seasons, the Indian seamers have been quite underwhelming due to their lack of pace.
KKR vs SRH – Should SRH play Khaleel Ahmed?
Even in the team’s first match of IPL 2020, RCB’s debutant opener Devdutt Padikkal had no issues in dispatching the duo of Sandeep Sharma and Thangarasu Natarajan during the Powerplay overs. Sandeep’s lack and swing and direction could be a cause of concern for SRH and it would be no surprise to see him dropping out for Khaleel Ahmed.
The left-arm fast-medium bowler Khaleel Ahmed was SRH’s best bowler in the last IPL with 19 wickets from just nine matches. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar not hitting his top speeds, Khaleel can be said to be the quickest Indian seamer in the side. His extra pace and bounce could be used to trouble a few susceptible batsmen in the KKR line-up.
The likes of Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana will be especially in focus as they have a reputation of being weak against hard-length bowling. Narine was targeted superbly by James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah in the match against MI while a number of other pacers have also started to bang it in short and at the body while bowling to Narine. As a result, Narine’s performances as an opener has also dropped with his strike falling from 175 to 126 since the start of the IPL season.
Moving onto Nitish Rana, Khaleel could very hurry the left-hander as he could bowl in excess of 140 KPH. In terms of numbers, Rana does have pretty good statistics against left-arm pacers but it could change if Khaleel plays and immediately finds his radar. English captain Eoin Morgan can also be targeted by short deliveries as he has been at the ends of quite a few bouncers in International cricket.
Even KKR captain Dinesh Karthik’s numbers against left-arm pacers are inferior when compared to the right-arm variety. The dangerman for KKR, Andre Russell strikes big against left-arm pacers but he has also got out twice.
It must also be reminded that Khaleel bagged the ‘Man of the Match’ award against KKR last year. So, there is enough incentive for SRH to play him if he is fit and raring to go.