As IPL 2024 heads into its decisive phase, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Set to clash in Qualifier 1 at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, both teams are eager to secure their spot in the final. Here’s a comprehensive preview of the upcoming high-stakes showdown.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Form and Strategy

KKR will miss Phil Salt, who has returned home for national duties. However, the rest of the squad is fit and ready for the challenge.

Tactics and Match-Ups:
KKR’s strategy will hinge on their ability to counter SRH’s potent batting lineup. Key to their plans will be the utilization of Sunil Narine. While Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have had success against Narine, the veteran spinner could be held back for the middle and late overs to control Heinrich Klaasen, who has a favorable match-up against Varun Chakravarthy.

Andre Russell, a crucial player for KKR, has been particularly effective against Abhishek Sharma, dismissing him twice in 10 balls while conceding only 11 runs. Expect Russell to bowl early to exploit this advantage.

Probable XII:

  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk)
  • Sunil Narine
  • Angkrish Raghuvanshi/Nitish Rana
  • Shreyas Iyer (c)
  • Venkatesh Iyer
  • Rinku Singh
  • Andre Russell
  • Ramandeep Singh
  • Mitchell Starc
  • Harshit Rana
  • Varun Chakaravarthy
  • Impact substitute: Vaibhav Arora

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Form and Strategy

SRH enters the match with a clean slate on the injury front, ensuring their best XI is available for this crucial fixture.

Tactics and Match-Ups:
SRH’s approach will focus on leveraging the weaknesses in KKR’s lineup. Andre Russell’s relatively low strike rate of under 140 in Ahmedabad is a key insight. SRH bowlers will aim to force Russell to hit towards the long square boundaries, maximizing their chances of restricting him.

Probable XII:

  • Travis Head
  • Abhishek Sharma
  • Nitish Reddy
  • Rahul Tripathi
  • Heinrich Klaasen (wk)
  • Abdul Samad
  • Shahbaz Ahmed
  • Pat Cummins (c)
  • Sanvir Singh
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  • Vijayakanth Viyaskanth
  • Impact substitute: T Natarajan

Key Battles to Watch

  1. Narine vs. Head and Abhishek:
    Sunil Narine’s middle-over spells will be crucial. While Head and Abhishek have had success against him, Narine will be pivotal in containing runs and taking crucial wickets.
  2. Russell vs. Abhishek:
    Andre Russell has a notable advantage over Abhishek Sharma, having dismissed him twice in just 10 balls. Russell’s early overs could set the tone for KKR.
  3. SRH Openers vs. KKR Pacers:
    The opening duo of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma will be looking to give SRH a solid start. Their battle against KKR’s pace attack, led by Mitchell Starc, will be crucial.
  4. Middle Overs:
    The middle overs could determine the match’s outcome, with SRH relying on their pacers and KKR leveraging their spin duo of Narine and Chakravarthy.

Venue and Conditions

The Narendra Modi Stadium is expected to offer a batting-friendly pitch, promising a high-scoring contest. The heat will be intense, but with no rain expected, the match will proceed uninterrupted. Captains will likely opt to field first, given the chasing success in this IPL season.

Head-to-Head and Historical Context

KKR leads the head-to-head battle against SRH with a 17-9 record. Since 2020, KKR has been dominant, winning seven out of their last nine encounters. Both teams have similar playoff records, with KKR winning eight and losing five, while SRH has won five and lost six.


The clash between KKR and SRH promises to be a high-octane affair, featuring two fearless and in-form teams. With strategic match-ups, key individual battles, and the pressure of the playoffs, this game has all the ingredients for a classic IPL encounter. Will KKR’s tactical prowess and depth prevail, or will SRH’s consistent openers and potent pacers lead them to victory? Tune in on May 21 at 19:30 IST to find out who will secure their spot in the final.

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