KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024: Captain Cummins eyes win in opener, returning to fortress of Kolkata Knight Riders


The return of two fine leaders, skipper Shreyas Iyer and mentor Gautam Gambhir, and the incentive of beginning its campaign at home after four editions should motivate Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to give its best against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.

Seeking balance, KKR’s quest for its elusive third title began from the auction stage.

The side’s expensive purchase of eminent Aussie left-armer Mitchell Starc will lead the pace department and is expected to play a crucial role in PowerPlay and death overs.

While the trusted spin-duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy may get priority, KKR will weigh other options.

KKR’s batting looks stronger with Shreyas’ return even though there are apprehensions over his fitness.

Iyer addresses the media ahead of the IPL match against SRH, in Kolkata.
| Photo Credit:
PTI

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Iyer addresses the media ahead of the IPL match against SRH, in Kolkata.
| Photo Credit:
PTI

Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Manish Pandey and West Indians Andre Russell and his back-up Sherfane Rutherford bolster it. Wicketkeeper-batters Phil Salt, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and K.S. Bharat widen KKR’s range of choice.

Leading a T20 side for the first time, Australian captain Pat Cummins, in SRH colours, will try to prove himself against his old side.

He will have the company of known pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Marco Jansen, Jaydev Unadkat, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik and T. Natarajan.

In spin, SRH may have to rely on Washington Sundar, Mayank Markande and Shahbaz Ahmed in the absence of Wanindu Hasaranga.

Cummins, who won the ODI World Cup in India last year, talks to the media before his team’s against KKR, in Kolkata.

Cummins, who won the ODI World Cup in India last year, talks to the media before his team’s against KKR, in Kolkata.
| Photo Credit:
PTI

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Cummins, who won the ODI World Cup in India last year, talks to the media before his team’s against KKR, in Kolkata.
| Photo Credit:
PTI

Aiden Markram, Travis Head, Heinrich Klassen, Glenn Phillips, Rahul Tripathi, Mayank Agarwal, Abdul Samad and Anmolpreet Singh inspire confidence in batting. Choosing four foreigners from a wide array of choices will be tough though.

With KKR enjoying the home advantage, SRH may find it hard to breach fortress Eden Gardens. The pitch, which remained covered during rains earlier this week, will be an interesting thing to decode for either side.

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