Wasim Akram issues KKR warning ahead of IPL playoffs

Kolkata Knight Riders will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier today

By Web Desk
May 21, 2024
KKR topped the points table and impressed in both batting and bowling departments before the playoffs. - BCCI/ICC

Legendary Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram backed Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowlers ahead of today’s Indian Premier League (IPL) Qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.

KKR topped the points table and impressed in both batting and bowling departments before the playoffs.

“This is [bowling] is one of the main factors [behind KKR finishing on top of the points table]. There are wicket-taking bowlers. The teams that will take wickets will win the matches. If you see Chakaravarthy has 18, Harshit Rana’s 16, all-rounders Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have 15, and Mitchell Starc has 12. Starc single-handedly won them a game as well. They are going in the final as a calm, confident, and very dangerous side for sure,” Akram told Sportskeeda.

Akram, who was part of KKR’s coaching staff in the past, said that controlled aggression has benefited the Shreyas Iyer-led unit.

“Almost everyone performed, they played Manish Pandey in one game and he also delivered. So, that shows that everybody is happy and confident. They have aggression, but they have controlled aggression. They are not cocky or overconfident," Akram added.

Akram also said that the absence of Phil Salt, who left for international duty, might affect KKR. Rahmanullah Gurbaz is set to replace him in the team for playoffs.

“No doubt, Phil Salt’s absence will affect them,” Akram concluded.

Expected lineups

Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahamanullah 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: 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]