We did receive a record number of messages from fans, some for Virat Kohli, some for Gautam Gambhir and the others against both of them. As an analyst, I feel that things do happen in the ground (following the guidelines). At the end of the day, both the teams are trying their best to win and the road to success has different routes. I am not sure whether Kohli crossed the line or not, but as professionals, all should have left it behind in the field, while walking out.
There is one thing that I respect Kohli for and that’s the fact that he took the entire Lucknow Super Giants going after him in Bengaluru and he waited for the second match-up, where he decided to take it out. It was very much evident from the start, with the aggression of the entire RCB team.
Although, talking from BCCI and IPL’s perspective, they are definitely loving every moment of this, considering the attention and involvement of people in this topic, which is their ultimate motive.
· PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER – On the previous occasion that these two encountered each other was at Kolkata, where SRH piled up a mammoth 228/4 on the back of a wonderful century from Harry Brooks and a fifty from captain Aiden Markram. In reply, KKR did give in their best to get to 205/7, but they were never in the game with wickets falling regularly and only a solo 70-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh stood out.
· TEAM INFO– This is a contest between the two teams that haven’t really got going in this season. Both these sides need to win almost all of their remaining games to have any honest chance at qualification for the play-offs. With just 3 wins a piece, Kolkata are sitting at 8th spot and Hyderabad are at the 9th position. Sunrisers did win their last game against Delhi, so they have some kind of momentum.
· Head-to-Head - Played - 24; Won by KKR– 15; Won by SRH – 9
· SRH possible 12 – M Agarwal, A Sharma, R Tripathi, A Markram, H Klaasen, H Brook, A Samad, M Markande, B Kumar, A Hosein, U Malik, T Natarajan
· KKR possible 12 – N Jagadeesan, R Gurbaz, V Iyer, N Rana, R Singh, A Russell, S Narine, D Wiese, S Thakur, H Rana, V Chakaravarthy, S Sharma
· Pitch & Weather Report – The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has always been a belter to bat on. In the three matches played at the venue so far in the tournament, teams batting first have crossed the 190-run mark twice and won both matches. Hence the captain winning the toss will prefer to bat first and bring the opposition under pressure by posting a mammoth total. With very low chances of rain, the temperature will hover between 24 to 33 Degree Celsius.
· Match Prediction – Both these struggling sides would be looking for some kind of momentum that can help them finish this year’s IPL. If these teams could win all their remaining games, they could very well qualify as well. If not, they could work as party-poopers to others’ seasons as well. Between both these sides, it’s Kolkata who look like a stand out team, but haven’t been able to deliver, but I feel that this is where they will start to get things right and go on a roll. So, it’s going to be ‘Kolbo lorbo jeetbo’ at Hyderabad in a run-fest.
FAN COMMENTS (DOCTOR’S SPECIAL)
· The entire social media is about GG vs VK and a lot of rage that Naveen Ul Haq is getting. The entire situation was well depicted here. I agree that this is an old suppressed issue that finds its way out. Although, it was a wrong thing to happen by the ambassadors of this game and an amazing thing to happen for the event as a whole. – Dr Vidhyut Ramki, 47, Archaeologist, US Citizen
· Born in Kolkata and brought up in Hyderabad, I have been supporting both these sides but they have disappointed. Although, when they clash against each other, there are serious fireworks and I am just expecting the same. Would love some Gambhir-Kohli type of incident in this one too. – Dr Radhika Maheshwari, 40, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Indian.
· Being a fan of Virat Kohli, I love the aggression that he brings to the table and I really want this to continue. Even without raising his hand, he did convey to the opponents that he is the boss there and he should be respected. Hoping to see him in the leadership role more. Started watching this game because of my husband and now because of my son, we don’t miss a single match of Kohli. – Dr Rahma al Balushi, 43, Paediatrician, Omani.
· Often, I feel that the game of cricket is undermined by calling it a gentleman's game. With the involvement of women, the line doesn’t make sense any more, plus we all love a little bit of good quality action and drama. Most importantly, such intensity does make the match more interesting and memorable for the viewers and audiences. – Dr Makarand Jewrikar, 39, Paediatrician/Badr Al Saama, Indian.