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Top five player battles to watch out for in KKR vs SRH Qualifier 1 match in IPL 2024

Published at :May 20, 2024 at 5:55 PM
Modified at :May 20, 2024 at 5:55 PM
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(Courtesy : BCCI)

Karan Rawat


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Qualifier 1 of IPL 2024 will see a KKR vs SRH match on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

It’s time for the first match of the playoffs stage in the Indian Premier League IPL) 2024. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), two teams that played fearless cricket throughout the group stage, will face each other in Qualifier 1 on May 21.

It will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Both teams have a strong batting unit and a settled bowling attack. If both sides play to their full potential, we will see a high-scoring clash.

KKR vs SRH: Head-to-Head

SRH and KKR have locked horns 26 times in total in the IPL. KKR are leading this race with 17 wins, while SRH have won nine matches. KKR also won the last game between these two teams earlier this season at the Eden Gardens.

KKR vs SRH: Top five player battles to watch out for

1. Travis Head vs Mitchell Starc

Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024
Travis Head, Mitchell Starc. (Image Source: BCCI)

In modern-day cricket, playing together with each other has both positives and negatives. You are familiar with each other’s game and can use it against each other when required. That might be the situation when Travis Head comes in front of Mitchell Starc in the powerplay in Qualifier 1. Head has been in exceptional form, but there is likely to be some early swing for Starc, and he’s dangerous in helpful conditions. So this battle can be decisive in this encounter.

2. Abhishek Sharma vs Andre Russell

Abhishek Sharma has hit 41 sixes this season, which is the most for any batter so far in IPL 2024. He has the ability to hit fifties in merely 20 balls, which is why KKR need to dismiss him as early as possible. Though KKR have a few good options, going on past match-ups, Andre Russell has success against SRH’s Indian opener. Russell has dismissed Abhishek twice in nine balls in the IPL, and will aim to dismiss him again.

3. Heinrich Klaasen vs Sunil Narine

Heinrich Klaasen scored 63 off 29 balls when he batted last time against KKR earlier this tournament. Klaasen has a wide range of shots and is dangerous once he gets set. He can add some extra runs at the back end of innings, which can make a difference in outcome of the game. His challenge will be Sunil Narine in the middle overs. Narine has an economy rate of 6.63 this season, and batters have found it hard to hit him. Narine also dismissed Klaasen one time in 13 balls in the IPL.

4. Sunil Narine vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Not just with the ball, Sunil Narine could also have a big impact in the game with the bat. He is the top-scorer for KKR this season, and his consistent and explosive starts have helped his team this season. Phil Salt is not available, so Narine’s responsibilities as opener will increase. For SRH, it would be better to dismiss him early on, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could do that. Bhuvneshwar has dismissed Narine twice in the IPL in 25 balls and the left-hander has scored only 28 runs against the SRH pacer.

5. Andre Russell vs T. Natarajan

Andre Russell vs T Natarajan
Andre Russell, T Natarajan. (Image Source: BCI)

Andre Russell will be a key player for KKR in both departments. He scored 64* off 25 and took two wickets against SRH in their last clash, bagging the Man of the Match award. For SRH, it will be important to keep him quiet when he bats.

Russell can make a significant difference to KKR’s total if he bats for even four overs in the death overs. Hence, SRH, who rely on T Natarajan in the final overs, should plan well for the lanky West Indian. Natarajan has dismissed Russell once in 26 balls, but Russell has scored 43 runs off him.

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