The 25th match of IPL 2022 pits Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) up against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. KKR lead the head-to-head stats between the two sides, having won 13 of their 20 encounters against SRH.
While KKR are placed second with three wins from five games, SRH are currently placed eighth, having won and lost two games apiece. Both teams have relied on their bowling prowess to stifle down opposition batting units before allowing their batters to get the job done.
Clearly, both Kolkata and Hyderabad will pin their hopes on their bowlers to do the needful again in batting-friendly conditions at the Brabourne Stadium tonight. On that note, we will try to predict the three top wicket-takers from the upcoming clash.
#1 Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav has been KKR’s lynchpin with the new ball, generating enough movement and landing it in the right areas to throw the batters off guard. Considering that the surface at the Brabourne Stadium is expected to wear a green tinge, the Vidarbha seamer is expected to get into the act again.
The Sunrisers’ opening pair of Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma have been rather sluggish to start in the powerplay overs. Running into one of the best powerplay bowlers of the IPL is yet another challenge facing the Orange Army tonight.
While Williamson has enjoyed a favorable matchup against Umesh, the latter should fancy his chances given the purple patch he has hit this season. Don’t put it past the seamer to pick up a couple of wickets in the powerplay again!
#2 Marco Jansen
Amidst the fiery velocity of Umran Malik, the accuracy of Washington Sundar and the yorkers of T Natarajan, Marco Jansen has silently slipped under the radar. The South African has enjoyed a good couple of games with pivotal spells that went a long way in ensuring victories over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT) for SRH.
Given his ability to extract extra bounce owing to his towering height, Jansen is best suited to exploit some of the shortcomings the KKR batters face against the short ball. The likes of Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine and to an extent, even skipper Shreyas Iyer, have been found wanting against well-directed short deliveries in the past.
The left-arm angle he brings also puts Jansen in the front seat against Ajinkya Rahane, should the former generate some movement. With Washington Sundar set to miss the game due to an injury, Jansen could end up bowling an extra over in the powerplay for SRH. Expect him to be a tough proposition to negotiate as far as KKR are concerned with wickets likely to come the South African’s way.
#3 Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine has been in fine form in the IPL once again. With his mystery yet to be deciphered, the canny Trinidadian remains the Knight Riders’ ace weapon with the ball even a decade after making his debut for the franchise.
With SRH boasting fine players of spin in Kane Williamson, Rahul Tripathi and Nicholas Pooran, Kolkata’s hopes of diffusing that threat lie in the hands of Narine. Aiden Markram is not as comfortable against spin as he is against pace, meaning that Narine should hold his own against him tonight.
The surface is not expected to have much assistance for spin but again, this is Sunil Narine we are talking about. Given how he almost always takes the pitch out of the equation, the West Indian veteran should find himself among the wickets once again.
After all, he has bowled against Tripathi in the KKR nets before and has played a lot of cricket alongside Pooran. Expect Narine to be among the top wicket-takers in the KKR-SRH clash.