The Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their 2019 IPL campaign at home as they host Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens.
KKR are one of the most successful IPL franchises and they have retained their core group of players for this tournament. Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine are both back for KKR and the pair of mystery spinners will ensure that the team has plenty of wicket-taking quality in the middle overs. KKR have added New Zealand fast bowler, Lockie Ferguson, who will combine well with Andre Russell to lead the pace bowling group. In Ferguson and Russell, KKR have two bowlers who can bowl over 90 mph which will make life hard for any batting unit. As far as the batting is concerned, KKR have retained the likes of Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik which ensures there is power and experience. KKR look well balanced and they will be very tough to beat at Eden Gardens.
On the other side of the coin, SH are a team that are heavily reliant of their bowling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back for SH and he will be well supported by the likes of Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan. The problem for SH will be with their batting as they have lost Shikhar Dhawan who was vital to the team last season. David Warner is back at SH and he will need to contribute along with Kane Williamson to score the bulk of the runs.
Eden Gardens should be a good pitch for batting although the long boundaries will make it hard for the batsmen to clear the ropes.
As far as this match is concerned, I am going to pick Kolkata Knight Riders to win. KKR are a team that have built for playing at the Eden Gardens. The spinners will thrive with the long boundaries and the batting has touch players who can run 2s and 3s. With the support of the crowd, I see KKR winning their first match of the season.