Pune: The sprint for the playoffs is getting hotter as PBKS stunned RCB and moved to the sixth position yesterday. Victory against RCB has boosted the net run rate (NRR) of Punjab as well. Punjab and Delhi are tied, but DC are ahead due to better NRR.
RCB are still occupying the fourth position, but DC and PBKS are not far behind them, breathing down RCB’s neck. Currently, seven teams are in the running for the playoffs. The fate of three teams has already been sealed. To advance to the playoffs, RCB must punch above their weight. All the matches from here are going to decide the fate of the franchise.
KKR will take on SRH.
All eyes are set to watch another encounter today between two struggling sides of this season’s IPL. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. Both sides are in the race for the playoffs, but they have a slim chance. Never forget that uncertainty always looms in cricket. The result of one match can change the complexion of a tournament and swing the pendulum from one way to another.
Pat Cummins returns home
KKR have to take the field today without Pat Cummins, who had flown back home with a hip injury. Coach Brendon McCullum is looking at the offer of an England coaching stint in the middle of the KKR campaign in IPL 2022. Kolkata haven’t shown any maturity and look disjointed on the field. The absence of Cummins and possibly McCllum will certainly hit the side badly.
The performance of SRH has ups and downs. The franchise failed to continue their consistency. Kane Williamson needs to lift the morale of the players to go all out for the remaining matches. SRH have to punch above their height if they want to reach the playoffs. It is a daunting task, but not impossible.
Toss may play a deciding role in tonight’s encounter. The teams that bat first have better records. On nine occasions, out of the 12 matches in Pune, have been won by teams batting first. The Pune stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the KKR, with the team winning seven of the eight games played there.SRH crossed the winning line only once in their five encounters at this venue.
Shreyas Iyer’s side has not been able to select the right team combination so far, which is down to the poor performance by KKR. The franchise doesn’t have time to do introspection as every match is like a do or die situation for all the contestants.
Youngsters Washinton Sundar and T Natarajan are on the injury list. Team management is hoping that both will fit before the match, which will give a shot in the arm to SRH.
Both captains will leave no stone unturned in tonight’s fixture. Hopefully, the crowd will get a chance to watch another thrilling match tonight.