Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner won the toss and elected to field against Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening fixture of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
"We're bowling first. This wicket will play a little different, it's a lot drier. There wasn't much dew in the last training session. We know what we can chase, to be honest," said Warner.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also received his debut cap ahead of the toss. In IPL 2019, Harbhajan at this venue averaged 15.18 with the ball and conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.96. The 40-year-old, who also played for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in the past, was bought by KKR for INR 2 crore earlier this year in the mini-auction.
"I haven't looked at the coach dynamic, but they have been magnificent in the background. We missed out narrowly last year with qualifying so we will try and go one better this time. Our four foreign players are Russell, Shakib, Cummins and myself," said KKR skipper Eoin Morgan.
The Hyderabad side has a superior head-to-head record against its Kolkata counterpart. SRH have won just seven of the 19 encounters between them and have lost 12. Last year, the Warner-led side qualified for playoffs in the UAE while KKR finished fifth on the points table.
In the UAE, the Hyderabad side defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator but suffered a loss against Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): David Warner(c), Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharm