IPL 2021 SRH vs KKR Preview

IPL 2021, Match 03, April 11th SRH vs KKR, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Preview SRH vs KKR in IPL 2021, head to head player stats, records of both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders at this venue plus the best Dream11 predictions.

SRH vs KKR head to head player stats

SRH bowling vs KKR batting

I’m prertty excited about Sunrisers chances in IPL 2021. I keep reading people describing them as “dark horses” for the title but to me it’s more the case that they aren’t quite as fashionable a franchise as say RCB who seem to garner pre-season excitement every season of the IPL regardless of the squad they have. SRH have a much more balanced side and their bowling in particular will be strong versus whoever they play in IPL 2021.

The return to form and fitness of Buvi is a massive plus for SRH this year and he will spearhead the bowling attack and look to strike early in the powerplay. One of the concerns I would have about KKR’s top order is that they lack that real gun player to get them off to a flyer during the powerplay as shown below.

KKR batting stats in the powerplay
KKR batting stats in the powerplay

In previous year’s they’ve relied on the pinch hitting of Sunil Narine but his returns have fallen over the past couple of season’s and Rahul Tripathi failed to really capitalise on the chances he was given at the top of the order since moving from Rajasthan.

When you couple that with the accuracy and economy of SRH’s powerplay bowling particularly in the form of Buvi and left-armer Sandeep Sharma then there is the chance that KKR will be behind the 8-ball from the off.

SRH's new ball options
SRH’s new ball options

Of course if you are behind the game versus this SRH bowling attack then chances are that you may need to take risks against Rashid Khan in the middle overs and the could spell disaster! The Afghan wrist spinner’s record against this current KKR squad is shown below

Rashid Khan head to head vs KKR
Rashid Khan head to head vs KKR

A lot of sides in the IPL seem to favour playing Rashid at about a run a ball and simply not losing wickets against him but I’m not sure that KKR can afford both a cautious approach at the start of the innings and then again during the middle overs. Something is going to have to give!

KKR certainly have the batsmen to make up the difference at the back end and they’ll be hoping for significantly better returns from the likes of Dre Russell and Dinesh Karthik this year. The big plus for Russell and perhaps the one weakness in the SRH attack is that they lack a bowler of genuine pace to give the big Jamaican a bit of a working over early in his innings – a tactic that has proved successful for many IPL sides in the past. Against regulation right-arm fast medium he tends to smash it!

Dre Russell head to head vs SRH right-arm fast medium bowlers
Dre Russell head to head vs SRH right-arm fast medium bowlers

KKR bowling vs SRH batting

KKR’s bowling line-up, much like their batting line-up, is one where a few of the players in IPL 2021 need to perform on a par with their reputations. In particular, the KKR spin department seems to have more options than you could shake a stick at. Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan are all on KKR’s books for IPL 2021 and particularly at this venue (see below) they could prove a handful if they get it right!

Certainly KKR would be tempted to open with spin vs the likes of Warner and Bairstow who would generally favour the ball coming onto the bat early in their innings. Narine has been their go to man in that regard but his IPL record vs David Warner is pretty poor.

Narine head to head record vs Warner
Narine head to head record vs Warner

If KKR are looking for a man to counter Warner’s threat at the top of the order then Harbhajan has an excellent head to head vs the Aussie but at 40-years-old and with so little cricket behind him of late how much of an on-field impact can he make?

KKR’s best chance in this match will be to make early in roads and then put pressure on what is likely to be an exciting but fairly inexperienced SRH middle order. Indeed, while there is some ball striking capability in the SRH team from youngsters like Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad it’s not comparable to what KKR can muster when they are on song at the death.

BatsmanDeath Overs S/RBalls per boundary at the death
Russell (KKR)209.203.02
Morgan (KKR)173.194.45
Garg (SRH)172.974.11
Karthik (KKR)167.924.30
Samad (SRH)162.265.30
Sharma (SRH)160.005.00
Shankar (SRH)157.385.38
Pandey (SRH)151.255.80
Strike rates of SRH and KKR middle orders at the death in the IPL

Death bowling was an issue for KKR at times during last season’s IPL so it’ll be fascinating to see what are arguably the 2 teams weaker suits go head to head in this fixture.

SRH stats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

As described in our overall preview of the SRH team for IPL 2021, one of the major concerns for them will be the record of their captain and star batsmen David Warner across several of the venues they have been drawn to play at. Here is Warner’s record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Warner IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Warner IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The fact of the matter is that Warner is not alone in his struggles at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The slow surface in Chennai is not conducive to big or fast scoring and therefore it’s likely to be the accumulators who are best suited to this venue.

Manish Pandey has a decent overall record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and played a gem of an innings the last time SRH played here back in IPL 2019. These could be the ideal conditions for him again and his quiet consistency over the last couple of seasons was enough to get him back into the Indian limited overs squad for the tour to Australia last year. With a strong IPL 2021 he can push for a place in the T20 World Cup squad.

Pandey IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Pandey IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

None of SRH’s bowlers can point to having much of a prior record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Buvi’s 3 wickets at an average of 31 are the most of any of their players and the last time that Rashid Khan played here he was taken for 44 from his 4 overs. In general, Rashid is a more effective bowler when there is a bit of pace and bounce in the pitch so while the pitch in Chennai will likely offer some turn, there is no guarantee that it will particularly suit the Afghan leggie.

KKR stats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

KKR’s desire for Dre Russell to come good during IPL 2021 is even more pronounced when considering his record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Again, this can perhaps be explained by that lack of bounce in the pitch here and the general absence of a really quick bowler for CSK who is able to hit the splice of the bat.

Russell IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Russell IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The big question for me is whether KKR opt to utilise the Turbinator at a venue where he’s been pretty much unplayable in the past. During CSK’s run to the final in IPL 2109, Harbhajan played 11 matches most of which came at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and took 19 wickets. He did for both Jonny Bairstow and David Warner the last time either of them played an IPL match here.

Harbhajan IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Harbhajan IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Not to the labour the point too much but the MA Chidambaram Stadium is a pitch where CSK have shown that having a variety of slow and change up bowlers is a very effective weapon. I’d expect KKR to field 3 front line spinners in this fixture to control the game in exactly the same manner.

Impact of spin by IPL venue
Impact of spin by IPL venue
Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Based on the above our best Dream11 predictions for SRH vs KKR are as follows.

Form and fitness are the big question marks for Andre Russell coming into IPL 2021 but his record at this ground and the lack of a genuine fast bowler for SRH mean that he is still worth consideration as a pick for Dream11 captain SRH vs KKR. If KKR do opt to go for the 3 front line spinners then his importance as a death bowler will also become more pronounced and those allrounder points could be crucial for Dream11 fantasy players.

Elsewhere we’ve seen that Manish Pandey has a decent record at this venue and Buvi comes into the game off the back of some impressive form for the national side and seems a must for most Dream11 SRH v KKR teams. If we assume that the MA Chidambaram Stadium is very much a horses for courses type of venue then picking slower bowlers in your Dream11 side for the SRH vs KKR match seems to be the way go and a selection out of left field would be to go for 40-year-old Harbhajan Singh.

Andre Russell – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Andre Russell - Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Buvi Kumar – Dream 11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Buvi Kumar - Dream 11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Harbhajan Singh – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Harbhajan Singh - Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Manish Pandey – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Manish Pandey - Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

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Published by Statman Tom

Cricket Lover and Writer

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