IPL 2020: It's all about play-off spot as KKR take on SRH at Abu Dhabi

And two teams fully aware of this situation will be Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders who find themselves precariously placed in the table.

Published: 17th October 2020 09:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2020 09:58 PM   |  A+A-

KKR, Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders players during a match (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

The race for top-four is heating up as the Indian Premier League has crossed the halfway stage and the margins for error are next to none for teams with ambitions of qualifying for the play-offs.

And two teams fully aware of this situation will be Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders who find themselves precariously placed in the table. They go up against each other in Abu Dhabi on Sunday knowing fully well that any slip-up now could see others over-take them and qualification chances becoming that much slimmer.

A quick glance at the table shows the Knight Riders sitting pretty in fourth place Sunrisers in fifth with just two points separating the two sides. But the form guide tells a different story. 

From the early impressions, the top three sides in the table - Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royall Challengers Bangalore - would largely be untroubled in terms of the standings.
It could be a dogfight for the fourth spot and both Knight Riders and Sunrisers would know all too well that losing against each other or teams below them would be detrimental to their chances.

Sunday is a big game for both sides as they are both in a bit of a slump. Both are coming on the back of back-to-back defeats which has allowed others like Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and even Kings XI Punjab to catch up and keep pace with them.

However, going into the game, even though KKR are placed above them, Sunrisers look a lot stabler and they couldn't have asked for a better time to face the side from Kolkata. While they were underwhelming in their win against Kings XI Punjab, the defeats against RCB and Mumbai showed that despite a star-studded batting lineup, they haven't fired as a unit.

And at a time when the team needed some stability, Dinesh Karthik decided to step down and hand over the captaincy to Eoin Morgan. Their top-order has not been consistent with Morgan citing it among the reasons for the comprehensive defeat against Rohit Sharma's men.

And having played on Friday, it remains to be seen if another game in such quick concession would work for them or go against them.

Sunrisers meanwhile had a few days rest before coming into this game, having played against CSK last Tuesday.

Their problem continues to be an inconsistent middle order which places all the burden on the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson at the top. It remains to be seen if they used the downtime to re-group and try to work out a balanced team. The question remains on whether they'll go with a specialised fifth bowler like they did against CSK or shore up their batting which came up short against MS Dhoni's side.

All said, starting Sunday, both teams will have to get it right if they have to keep the chasing pack at bay and nail down a play-off spot. 


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