The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to witness 2016 winners Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in match number three. The match is set to be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Notably, the first match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore was held at this venue. RCB sealed a last-ball thriller. It will be interesting to see how these two sides perform in the neutral venues this season given there is no home advantage amid the coronavirus pandemic.

David Warned-led SRH reached the playoffs in the IPL 2020 campaign. They finished third on 14 points and had a better NRR than RCB and KKR. The Orange Army won the IPL Eliminator before losing the Qualifier 2 against Delhi Capitals. Warner, who was once again amongst the runs last season, boasts of a terrific run against KKR. He needs 88 runs to become the first batsman in IPL history to amass 1,000 runs against KKR. Last season, KKR beat SRH in both meetings, including a Super Over after the second match ended in a tie. With both sides having a good bowling department, this game could be an entertainer.

Both teams will want to do well at the Chidambaram Stadium. In the first match, we saw MI falling at least 20 runs short after managing 159/9. MI bowled well as RCB won the match by two wickets. This indicates that intelligent bowling and striking at the death can result in a tight affair. SRH have the edge over KKR in bowling and that’s going to be significant. KKR will need to find the desired balance under Eoin Morgan and will aim to put up a strong fight.

Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.

Key details of the match

The match is set to be held at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).

Here’s the preview

SRH will look to open their campaign with a tried and tested top-order. Warner, Bairstow and Williamson are top-notch prospect to get at the KKR. With Bairstow showing form in the India-England series, he is a prime option for the side. However, SRH can also try out Jason Holder as the overseas all-rounder and sacrifice Williamson in the process. SRH boast of a dream bowling unit and the focus will be on Rashid Khan. His exploits in the middle overs can help SRH tighten the screws. On the other hand, having Bhuvi to lead the line is a touch of gold. His brilliance in crucial phases of an innings will help SRH get empowered. Bhuvi can be backed by the reliable T Natarajan, who was influential last season and brings a different prospect with left-arm pace on offer. Sandeep Sharma has shown his prowess for a while now and brings stability with the ball.

For the Knights, the last few seasons haven’t gone as per plans. Two fifth-placed finishes in succession saw them miss the bus for a place in the playoffs on NRR. With Eoin Morgan set to lead the side, KKR will look up to his experience and make things count. What KKR need to decide on is whether they opt for Sunil Narine or Shakib Al Hasan as the spin all-rounder. Using Shakib will help them play Rahul Tripathi upfront alongside Shubman Gill. For now, wicket-keeper batsman Tim Seifert will occupy the bench. Another major decision KKR need to make is also the choice of a main Indian spinner. They have Kuldeep Yadav, Harbhajan Singh and Varun Chakravarthy on offer. With the latter failing a fitness test for Team India and Kuldeep conceding runs aplenty in the ODIs, Bhajji could be the one who could make his KKR debut. In the pace department, Prasidh Krishna and one between Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti need to support Pat Cummins for whom the challenge will be to claim wickets in PP overs.

Probable playing XIs: SRH vs KKR

SRH probable playing XI:

David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan

KKR probable playing XI:

Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan/Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy/Harbhajan Singh

Dream11 team prediction (option 1)

Batsmen: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi

All-rounders: Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell (vc)

Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan

Dream11 team prediction (option 2)

Batsmen: Jonny Bairstow (wk), Shubman Gill, Kane Williamson, David Warner (c), Eoin Morgan

All-rounders: Andre Russell (vc), Vijay Shankar

Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna

Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?

David Warner and Shubman Gill should be the top picks in the Dream11 Fantasy side. Both players are massive for their respective teams and hold the cards of giving their sides a good start. Looking at their performances in T20 cricket in the last five games, the runs have come.

Andre Russell is a must in the all-round department. He may have failed to get going in IPL 2020 but the big-hitting West Indian is a threat for everyone.

In the bowling segment, Bhuvneshwar Kumar boasts of a terrific record against KKR. With 27 wickets against the easter giants, Bhuvi is a name that cannot be ignored at any cost. He was in fine touch in the limited-overs series against England.

Dream11 fantasy: Captain Choices

David Warner: The Australian is a no brainer when it comes to captaincy choice in the side. He is an absolute run-machine and loves batting against the Knights.

Shubman Gill: The Indian youngster is a massive asset for KKR and they are dependent on him to provide the impetus. Gill can play as an anchor man and has all the shots up his sleeves.

Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain Choices

Russell with his exploits with bat, ball and fielding can be a definite choice as vice-captain. He enjoyed himself in the IPL 2019 campaign, powering past teams at ease. With the IPL back to India, Russell would be eager to get going from the start.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar can also be counted upon. He has a terrific IPL record and is excellent both at the powerplay and death overs.

Other choices: Rashid Khan, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow.

Pitch report and conditions

The pitch will assist bowlers and bowling intelligently would be crucial. Pacers need to vary their lengths and bowl many cutters and slower balls. Batsmen will have their say too but need to look at their footwork and choice of shots.  As far as the conditions are concerned, the temperature is set to be between 32-27 degree Celsius. There is no chance of rainfall and humidity could play its factor.

MA Chidambaram stats

The average first innings score in the IPL has been 160. Teams have also gone on to chase bigger totals at this venue. So anything in the 175 mark can be at par.

Head-to-head record

The two teams have faced each other on 19 occasions. KKR have the edge with 12 wins. SRH have won the remaining 7 games.

Match prediction

SRH have options at the top and that could be a daunting task for KKR. Both teams have able bowlers to provide plenty of impetus. KKR’s reliability on Andre Russell is a factor SRH will target. Given the outlook of both teams, we feel SRH will win this one.

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