The 61st match of the tournament is to be played between Shreyas Iyer-led Kolkata Knight Riders and Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. This match is going to be very important for both the teams. If two-time champion KKR loses today, then it will become the third team to be out of the playoff race after Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, while if Hyderabad has to face defeat then they will also be very behind in the race for playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders have played 12 matches so far this season, in which the team has won 5 times, while they have lost 7 times. KKR are at 8th position in the points table with 10 points. The chances of KKR reaching the playoffs are very less, but even if the team wins its remaining two matches, it will be able to reach only 14 points, so the team reaching the playoff will depend on the performance of the rest of the teams. If Kolkata suffers a defeat today, they will be out of the race for the playoffs.
Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad has reached here after losing the last four matches. After winning 5 out of 11 matches, this team is one place above KKR i.e. 7th with 10 points. If Hyderabad wins their remaining three matches, they will reach 16 points and then the matter will be stuck on net run rate. On the other hand, if KKR defeats SRH today, then SRH will be able to reach only 14 points again.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad have played 22 matches in the IPL so far, in which KKR has dominated by winning 14 matches. Looking at these figures, it seems that today Kolkata can spoil the game of Hyderabad. But this season, when the first encounter between these two teams took place, SRH defeated KKR by 7 wickets. In such a situation, Kolkata would not like to take Hyderabad lightly.
Too many changes in the batting order has unsettled the KKR team leading to big losses during this season whereas injuries to some crucial players like Natarajan and Washington Sundar , unsettled the Sunrisers bowling attack in particular in more recent games leading to 4 back to back losses after at one stage they looked to be cruising towards the playoffs with 5 consecutive wins .