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IPL 10, Match 37: Hyderabad v Kolkata

Wisden India logo Wisden India 30-04-2017 Wisden India staff
© Provided by Wisden

A solid top three, quality bowling, and confidence running high – the clash between table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, No.3 on the table, on Sunday (April 30) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad should be a fantastic one, with the two teams not identical at all, but boasting of similar strengths.

The two teams are almost perfecty matched on paper. For Bhuvneshwar Kumar, currently the Purple Cap holder with 18 wickets, Ashish Nehra and Siddarth Kaul, there are Nathan-Coulter Nile, Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes. There’s Sunil Narine on one side, with Kuldeep Yadav for support, and Rashid Khan on the other. If Gautam Gambhir has the Orange Cap with him for the moment with 376 runs, his opposite number – as captain and opening batsman – David Warner is at No. 2 with 333 runs. Robin Uthappa is at No. 3 on that list, while Shikhar Dhawan is at No. 4. Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson have both had their say on the goings-on already, and look past them, and there are power performers scattered all around for both teams.

Hyderabad will go into this encounter with the advantage of playing at home and crossing 200 for the second time this season in their previous game against Kings XI Punjab, which was when they also won their first away game this season after splitting points in Bangalore. The increasing worth of Rashid, who picked up one wicket but was crucial in restricting the flamboyant Punjab batsmen by conceding just 16 runs in his spell, cannot be overstated, and he would be one of the keys in trying to contain the likes of Gambhir and Uthappa, Kolkata’s frontmen with the bat, along with Bhuvneshwar and Nehra.

As for Kolkata, the one clear weakness is their fielding. With bowlers like Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep and Narine, the lapses haven’t always had big effects on the results, but against Hyderabad, they could.

Hyderabad have a proud home record – four wins in four this season – and a team perfectly suited to the conditions, while Kolkata are on a three-match winning streak. It will take something special to stop either of the juggernauts, and both the teams are capable of producing that.

Head-to-head record

Played 10. Hyderabad 3. Kolkata 7.

Head-to-head record at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium

Played 3. Hyderabad 1. Kolkata 2.

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