Two-time champions KKR last won the IPL in 2014 under Gautam Gambhir's captaincy.
KKR were needed more than 50 runs in the last three overs where the game was pretty much in SRH's court.
In the next over, the 32-year-old hit Piyush Chawla for two fours - first a cut through extra cover off the back foot and then a delightful cover drive - to underline his intent.
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.
Kolkata keeper Dinesh Karthik put down a leg-side chance when Warner was on 68, while a beamer from New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson tested out the Australian's reflexes. There Knight Riders were jolted with few injuries as well. Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier and Karnataka spinner KC Cariappa have been named as the replacements for the injured Indian quicks. With home support backing them, KKR will look towards the likes of Chris Lynn, young Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik to pile on the runs for them.
"Leadership comes in many different fashions and Davey (Warner) still has a leadership role within the group".
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This could mean Fernando Llorente comes in to lead the line with Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min in support. It was very emotional for him and I am so happy for him and his family.
Coming to the visitors, SRH emerged runners-up in the previous edition after losing to Chennai Super Kings in the final by eight wickets.
Sunrisers will be strengthened by the return of David Warner.
Williamson was comfortably the best batsman in the tournament hitting eight fifties and one century on the way to 735 runs in 17 matches. Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on him which will end on 29th of this month. In the build-up to the match, SRH team mentor VVS Laxman said that Warner was looking as fit and sharp as ever.
The only question, which is becoming increasingly hard to answer, is where he will fit in the batting order when Australia start their campaign in Bristol on June 1. Dhawan hit 497 runs and was the team's second highest run-scorer previous year.
Last time when these two teams met, it was a close encounter where SRH posted a good total of 174/7 thanking to the late heroics from Rashid Khan (34* off 10 balls). But Siddarth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave 19 and 21 runs in the 18th and 19th over respectively.