Just two points separate the bottom-five teams and with no side ruled out of the playoffs yet, the race for the top four in the Indian Premier League (IPL) promises to be an epic. Both Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are on ten points, and a win would help move ahead of some strong competition.
SRH failed to grab their chance, losing their last two games. Even when playing at home, they haven’t been able to win more than twice in a row this season (W4, L2) ahead of their last home engagement.
Losing Jonny Bairstow (445 runs) to national duty has affected their balance, while David Warner (611 runs, SR 143.76) won’t be around for long either. The lack of middle-order bite was visible against the Royals, where SRH lost six wickets for 26 runs.
KXIP are slightly behind SRH, only on net run rate, but have lost four of their last five matches. Too much dependence on the opening pair of KL Rahul (441 runs) and Chris Gayle (444) hasn’t really helped their cause.
Although Mohammed Shami (14 wickets) has managed to pick key wickets, their death over bowling leaves a lot to be desired. Against Bangalore in their last game, KXIP leaked 80 runs in their last five overs. Injuries to Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Moises Henriques haven’t helped either.
SRH vs KXIP T20 – Probable XI
David Warner, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravi Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammed Shami
SRH vs KXIP T20 – Players To Watch Out For
A move up the order to third helped Manish Pandey (SRH) discover his range with scores of 83* and 61. A third half-century on the trot could be handy.
Hogging the headlines for a long time due to the Mankading incident, KXIP captain Ravi Ashwin (12 wickets, ER 7.18) has shouldered a lot of the bowling burden for his struggling unit.
SRH vs KXIP T20 – Stat Attack
SRH have won seven of the last nine H2H matches. This venue has recorded the highest powerplay score of the season (as of Sunday morning) – 72 by SRH vs Kolkata.
SRH have won six of the eight H2H matches in which they batted first.
KXIP have won just one of their six H2H matches at this venue, back in May 2014. KXIP have won only 38 of the 100 matches they started as outsiders (38%).