New Delhi: Having won five out of six matches they’ve been involved in this year’s Indian Premier League, leader Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and host Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) promise a close contest when the face-off at Mohali on Thursday.
Kane Williamson-led Sunrisers have won all three games played so far, mainly riding on the good performance by their bowlers. KXIP have two wins from three so far. In their most recent match, they denied victory to Chennai Super Kings and MS Dhoni in a thriller. The strong batting order of the Kings XI side will be put to test against Hyderabad’s outstanding bowling attack.
With Gayle in form, the Kings XI batting line-up is very strong. KXIP batsmen have shown good form with KL Rahul and Karun Nair leading the way. Add the powerful Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis to the batting line-up, the Kings XI have got the arsenal to gun down any team just with their batting. Only Yuvraj Singh hasn’t hit his straps yet.
KXIP will look towards their captain Ravichandran Ashwin and the teenage sensation Mujeeb ur Rahman to control the runs and build pressure and hope that results in other bowlers reaping the rewards.
SRH are 3-0, having defeated the Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. In each of their three matches, SRH have bowled first, and their bowlers have been able to rein in their opponents and restrict them to a modest total.
Manish Pandey, Shakib al Hasan and Rashid Khan have all contributed on the field, and coach Tom Moody explained that his team were looking at fielding as a crucial component of the game. Sunrisers have lost their place at the top of the table after KKR defeated RR in Match 15.
Shikhar Dhawan is the one batsman in the SRH top three who can take on the opposition. The left-hander has been in good form with the bat recently, and SRH will need him to make a big score.
SRH are unbeaten so far this season because their bowlers have been exceptional. SRH have fielded five specialist bowlers, and they’ve been able to restrict the opposition to totals under 150 on each occasion.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 10, KXIP won – 2, SRH won – 8
At the IS Bindra Stadium: Matches – 4, KXIP won – 0, SRH won – 4
Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mayank Dagar, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Manzoor Dar, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Marcus Stoinis, Manoj Tiwary, Andrew Tye, Ben Dwarshuis, Ankit Rajpoot, Pardeep Sahu, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Akshdeep Nath.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Alex Hales, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan.
The match starts at 8 PM IST.