HYDERABAD: Kolkata Knight Riders’ bid to stretch their winning run to 11 got a boost when their most consistent batsman of this year’s IPL season, Robin Uthappa, returned from injury. He took the place of his state-mate Manish Pandey, who sat out the game due to illness. Knight Riders also beefed up their spin department by handing a debut to 19-year old chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, at the expense of fast bowler Umesh Yadav.
Lahore Lions, the first Pakistan side to make it to the main draw of the Champions League, brought in a left-arm spinner in the place of a quick bowler – with Mustafa Iqbal replacing Imran Ali. Lions have had a four-day break since beating Southern Express in the final qualifying game, but their captain Mohammad Hafeez didn’t think the time away from the action would affect his side.
Their batsmen will have the difficult job of tackling Knight Riders’ bowling, which includes fast bowler Pat Cummins and spinner Sunil Narine, after Hafeez lost the toss and Lions were sent in.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir (captain), Manvinder Bisla (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav
Lahore Lions: Umar Siddiq, Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Saad Nasim, Umar Akmal (wk), Wahab Riaz, Asif Raza, Mustafa Iqbal, Adnan Rasool, Aizaz Cheema.