Kolkata and Hyderabad will lock horns at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on May 14. The 2016-winners still have the qualification scenarios in their favour. They simply need to win their remaining three games on the bounce. On the other hand, the two-time winners need to win their remaining two games handsomely and need a few results of other games to go in their favour as well. With the race to playoffs tightening up, both teams wouldn’t like any slipups as it would hamper their chances of a top-four finish
Kolkata:Â The team is coming off an inspiring win against Mumbai in their last game. However, in what turned out to be a big blow, Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the remaining games due to a hip injury. On the other hand, their batting has been a concern as well. They would want their batters to step. With Venkatesh Iyer returning to form in the last game, there are a lot of hopes from him. Meanwhile, Chamika Karunatratne might get a chance in Cummins’ absence.
Venkatesh Iyer:Â The left-hander returned to form during Kolkata’s against Mumbai. He scored 43 runs off 24 balls, striking at 179.16. He was sitting out due to poor form with the bat. He must be itching to prove that he isn’t a one-season wonder and thus, make a big impact.
Tim Southee: The Kiwi pacer has been one of the underrated performers for the team. He has evolved as a T20 bowler this season by picking wickets and bowling with a good economy. In the next game, he could be vital to the team’s fortunes.
Probable XI:Â Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Chamika Karunaratne, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy
Hyderabad:Â At one stage, the team looked like sailing to the playoffs comfortably after their five wins on the bounce. However, their fortunes have taken a U-Turn in the last four games as they have lost all of them. They would want their bowlers to buckle up as they have been leaking runs in the last few games. The team could go for Shreyas Gopal as the second spinner as the wickets are slowing up. Gopal can be included in the team in place of Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Rahul Tripathi:Â The right-hander has been one of the leading run-scorers for the team. In the last game against Bangalore where the team’s batting failed miserably, he scored an explosive 58. Thus, he could be an important player in the next game.
Umran Malik:Â The tearaway pacer has blown hot and cold in the tournament. While he has put up match-winning performances in a few games, he has been hammered in the rest. However, he has the ability to make a comeback, and could prove to be dangerous.
Probable XI:Â Kane Williamson (c), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Shashank Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi/Shreyas Gopal
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
Time:Â 07:30 PM IST
Live Telecast:Â Star Sports Network and Disney+Hotstar
Pitch Report: The last game between Lucknow and Gujarat saw pacers getting help from the surface, especially with the new ball. Batters need to apply themselves befor going for the big shots. The conditions could remain the same in the next game. Thus, one can expect a low-scoring game on the cards