With pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar back in their ranks, SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the third match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday night. The Hyderabad franchise, though more powerful and well-rounded and having qualified for play-offs last year, have an inferior head-to-head record against their Kolkata counterparts. SRH have won just seven of the 19 encounters between them and have lost 12.
Here we take a look at a few of the key battles which could turn the tide of this high-profile clash:
David Warner vs Pat Cummins
The battle of the Australians will be one of the key battles in the match. Last year we saw a very different version of David Warner where he played very coolly and calmly in the first half of the tournament before exploding in the second half. He was the third-highest run-getter last season behind KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. This season SRH fans would be hoping that Warner plays his natural game which is laden with fours and sixes.
Pat Cummins on the other hand had a very average IPL, he scalped just 12 wickets in 14 games. The 27-year-old would be hoping for a much outing and what could be a better opportunity to test himself other than facing one of the premier batsmen in the world.
Andre Russell vs Rashid Khan
Andre Russell would be raring to go when this season commences for him and the KKR> He had a forgetful outing last year where he scored 117 runs in 10 matches and took just six wickets. He looked in decent form in the nets for KKR, however, a big test lies in front of him in the first match himself as he gears up to face the dangerous Rashid Khan.
Rashid had the best economy rate among the bowlers last season and even picked 20 wickets for the Sunrisers. Since the match is being played at Chepauk, his bowling and this battle will prove crucial in the contest.
Varun Chakravarthy vs Kane Williamson
This should be another exciting contest owing to the fact that the match will be played at Chepauk. Varun Chakravarthy had a breakthrough season last year and would be hoping to replicate his form this season too. However, he has a big task at hand right in the first match. The-29-year-old will be up against one of the best batsmen in the world, Kane Williamson.
The Kiwi skipper needs no introduction, he has proved many of his doubters wrong over the years with performances over the year in this tournament. Batting at number three or number four he is a very vital cog in the wheel for SRH and has often bailed his franchise from awkward positions.