Sunrisers to be too strong for Knight Riders
The weekend ends with the Sunrisers Hyderabad taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders in game three of the Vivo Indian Premier League in Chennai. Both sides will be looking to improve on their sub-par campaigns last time out and get off to a good start with a win this year.
The best opening pair in the world?
They might not open the batting for England in the shortest form of the game, but it is safe to say in 50 over cricket, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are the best opening pair in the world. It’s been a mystery to many fans across the globe as to why Jason Roy doesn’t seem to be looked on favourably by IPL franchises, so there was a sense of relief to see him called in to the Sunrisers camp, to replace Mitch Marsh, who is suffering from the new trend, bubble fatigue.
Roy, who won’t feature in this match due to quarantine rules, will have to compete with not just his England teammate for a place in the top order, but also David Warner and Kane Williamson. So it is safe to say, whoever the Sunrisers pick, they will have a strong batting unit.
Rashid Khan will continue to bring his elements of mystery, whilst Bhuvneshwar Kumar will do what he does best, and keep it tight in the powerplay. With Jason Holder in the middle to balance the side, I still believe that the men in orange have one of the strongest, and most balanced sides in the competition, and could go a long way in challenging for the IPL crown this year.
Can the captain cope?
All eyes will be on Eoin Morgan on Sunday night, after the KKR and England skipper was forced to miss the final two ODI’s between India and England after splitting the webbing in his hand. Morgan remains hopeful that he will be fit enough to take part in his sides opening match, but it’ll be touch and go.
It will be interesting to see if the Knight Riders continue to use pinch hitter Sunil Narine at the top of the order. The hit and miss West Indian failed more than he succeeded in the powerplay last year, but KKR aren’t blessed with an abundance of firepower to start the innings.
It will also be interesting to see how much game time the veterans Dinesh Karthik and Harbhajan Singh get throughout the tournament. DK comes into the IPL this year without the pressures of captaincy and in good form, whereas Harbhajan will be looking to enjoy, what could very much be his final throw of the dice for in the Indian Premier League.
Assuming the inclusion of the Jonny Bairstow, I can see him continuing the form has shown throughout the early part of 2021.
That’s why I am backing the Jonny Bairstow to score over 24.5 runs at 1.85 with Casumo.