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Other SportsIPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad – Preview, expected line-ups,...

IPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad – Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

State of Play

Having both missed out on the play-offs in 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad open their 2024 Indian Premier League campaigns against one another at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

KKR have suffered four group-stage exits in the last five seasons, leading them to break the bank for Mitchell Starc, who has become the most expensive player in the competition’s history nine years on from his last appearance for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in 2015.

Starc’s KKR debut pits him against his Australia captain Pat Cummins in a mouthwatering showdown between two of the IPL’s biggest signings.

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Cummins has become the third-most expensive buy of the 2024 season as Hyderabad look to improve on a dismal 2023 campaign which saw them win just four of 14 games and finish bottom of the pile.

Their renewal also saw Travis Head brought in to partner Heinrich Klaasen, who has gone from strength to strength since making his first IPL century last May. With the Sunrisers possessing plenty of good overseas options, getting the right balance in their XI will be key.

Saturday’s hosts, meanwhile, will rely on returning skipper Shreyas Iyer with the bat. Having lost his place in India’s Test and T20I teams after missing the 2023 IPL campaign through injury, Iyer must find his feet quickly if KKR are to return to title contention.

With both KKR and the Sunrisers in transition after underwhelming 2023 seasons, the result of Saturday’s match could go a long way to telling us where their ambitions lie this campaign.

Expected line-ups

Kolkata Knight Riders: Phil Salt, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakravarthy.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Mayank Agarwal, Travis Head, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Washington Sundar, Pat Cummins (c), Shahbaz Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande.

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Tomorrow’s late game will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket from 13:50 UK time.

Prediction

The acquisition of Cummins means the Sunrisers boast exceptional depth with the ball, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Chakravarthy representing strong spin options.

However, the wicket at Eden Gardens is not expected to offer too much assistance to bowlers and the visitors may lack the scoring power of their hosts, so we’re backing Iyer to help KKR to a morale-boosting win on his IPL return.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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