Both the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad have had a dismal season thus far. It shows in their position in the points table, where they are tied for last with the Delhi Capitals. However, the table also suggests that all is not lost, at least for the time being. The race is currently so close that despite starting the tournament with five straight losses, the Delhi Capitals are still in contention for a playoff spot.
KKR’s form has dipped following a promising start, while SRH’s has been extremely inconsistent. However, the team that wins on Thursday will be optimistic about staging a late comeback to join the rest of the teams in the battle for a playoff spot.
When the clubs met earlier this season, Eden Gardens saw a high-scoring game in which Harry Brook finally managed to light up the IPL with a scorching century. Brook’s quest, however, is poised to be more difficult this time. SRH would be foolish to make any more changes after reuniting Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma at the top. They have already made far too many changes at the top, resulting in instability. However, if the batting collapses, Brook in the middle may face a barrage of spin from the KKR spin trio.
SRH does have additional hitters to counter that spin trio. Overall, and on paper, they are unquestionably the superior outfit. KKR can take heart in the fact that SRH has only won once at home so far. While they lost to the Gujarat Titans in their most recent match, runs from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Andre Russell, in particular, are encouraging. Russell has recently grown disgruntled with his batting position, and there is undoubtedly a case to be made for him to be upgraded to at least No.5. While the winner will keep their hopes alive, the loser will become the first team this season to suffer their seventh defeat. Beyond that, comebacks are not guaranteed beyond that point.