SRH eye winning start against Knights

KKR will expect all-rounder Andre Russell (right) and off-spinner Sunil Narine to fire in their opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday. PTI

Comeback man David Warner would be the cynosure of all eyes when last year's finalists Sunrisers Hyderabad open their campaign against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the 12th Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

Under Warner's captaincy Sunrisers won their maiden IPL title in 2016 and in 2017 he was the leading rungetter for his team.

But the Australian opener missed the last IPL because of the infamous ball-tampering episode in Capetown, and is set tp make his IPL comeback alongside Steve Smith.

Warner will be the most scrutinised player for Sunrisers this season after he was banned for a year over his role in the tampering scandal.

And come this year, both Warner and Smith would be hoping to make an impact for their respective IPL sides.

While his international ban ends on March 28, the left-handed opener is eligible to play in the franchise league and would be hoping to get into the zone to stake a claim in Australia's World Cup squad.

Warner went under the knife for an elbow injury in January during the Bangladesh Premier League but made a successful comeback for his Sydney club Randy Petes with a 77-ball century in a one-day game earlier this month.

Kane Williamson, who led them to runners-up finish in the Aussie's absence last season, will continue to captain Sunrisers, a team that is known for its depth and variation in bowling.

While Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead Sunrisers' pace department, Afghanistan's Rashid Khan will be in charge of the spin attack.

Sunrisers have traded in Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma for Shikhar Dhawan, but it remains to be seen how they overcome the Indian opener's departure.

In KKR's camp, skipper Dinesh Karthik will look to make most of the IPL opportunity to get the selectors' attention.

Taking charge of the team after Gautam Gambhir's exit, Karthik led KKR to third-place finish following their loss to SRH in the second eliminator last year.

KKR have roped in Carlos Brathwaite to go along side Andre Russell, Sunil Narine as they would look to reinforce their batting firepower with Chris Lynn.

 

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SRH eye winning start against Knights

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