Hyderabad and Kolkata face off each other in the first Sunday game in the Indian T20 League 2020 double-header.
Match Timings: Oct 18, 3:30 PM
Hyderabad and Kolkata are the current rivals who are the main contenders to fill the 4th spot after the most possible picture of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore in top three. With 8 points, Kolkata still has an edge over Hyderabad but one more defeat will put them slightly behind in the race. Hyderabad lost their last two previous outings and they could have won these games but in last 10 overs, they handed over the game to opponents. Bowling unit is terrific with the pace trio Khaleel, Natarajan and Sandeep. Rashid got the partner in Nadeem but it was a dull show. Warner would try to give Nadeem one more chance or he might go ahead with Samad who gives him a good batting option. If they fix their slight issues, they are a compact side. They need one good spinner and one solid batsman for middle-overs. Sometimes, you cannot get enough perfection but Hyderabad proved it after first two defeats.
Meanwhile, under the new skipper Kolkata aim to get back on the winning track as they also lost two back-to-back games and the pressure is building around the team combination. Morgan and Cummins rescued Kolkata from a disaster and the duo provided a hope to turn things around in 2nd innings but Mumbai outclassed with their dominant display. Chris Green made a debut on Friday but it was not effective and Morgan can think about Kuldeep now. Even Kolkata can call Ferguson in place of Green to boost the pace-attack. Kolkata have to take bold calls to find their lost rhythm in the tournament. They have big names but the execution is missing.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is a good batting track and the sluggish behaviour of the pitch would help the spinners. With the new ball, pacers can draw advantage. Chasing is still a tough call despite some heroics in chasing from a couple of games.
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar/Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Chris Green/Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna