After losing to Rajasthan in their tournament opener and then being edged out by Lucknow in the follow-up game, it had seemed as if this would be a continuation of last season for Hyderabad when they had finished last.
A pair of comfortable eight-wicket wins have laid those fears to rest. Whatever could have gone right has gone right for them over this two-game sequence.
The bowling unit has shared wickets, although pacer Umran Malik is still struggling. He ended a two-match wicketless run in the last game but then leaked 39 runs.
The batting has been a dream of late. The opening pairing of Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma have been on fire. Sharma, in particular, has looked incredible and is their highest scorer in the tournament so far.
Hyderabad will be without their allrounder Washington Sundar, who split the webbing in his right hand in the previous game.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata’s usually reliable bowling attack had an off night in their last game, conceding 215 runs. Apart from Sunil Narine (2 for 21), all their bowlers went for runs.
The worst of them all was their star pacer Pat Cummins, who was taken for an astonishing 51 runs in his four overs. To add insult to injury, the Aussie did not even get a single wicket.
Spin bowler Varun Chakravarthy has also been ineffective so far this season and recently said that he’s been working on a new delivery. When that will be ready to unveil remains unclear.
On the batting front, the form of Ajinkya Rahane must be a concern for Kolkata. The batter hasn’t scored more than 12 runs in his last four outings.