Hyderabad: SRH’s two defeats so far, one of them against Kings XI Punjab, will not weigh too heavily against it, when the two sides meet at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday. Few will dispute that Sunrisers went down fighting in both those reversals, more so in its last loss to Chennai Super Kings off the very last ball.
Sunrisers Hyderabad may be a side beset with injuries and absence of its key players. Nonetheless, under its low-profile captain Kane Williamson, a man of few words but capable of big deeds, it has shaken off the setbacks to emerge stronger and spring some stunning surprises.
Mounting numbers in the wounded list — Billy Stanlake, who’s left for Australia with a fractured finger, Shikhar Dhawan rapped on the knee and the spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar laid low by a back problem — didn’t seem to deter the southern squad in its last outing.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will be bustling with confidence after their thrilling win over the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday night. After being dismissed for 118 – at that point the lowest total in the season, SRH still walked away with a resounding win as their bowlers bundled out MI for 87.
Shikhar Dhawan will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing run following his comeback from injury. Along with the two of them, SRH will need their middle-order to contribute. The trio of Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda and Shakib Al Hasan haven’t been up to the mark with the bat so far and that needs to change. Kane Williamson had the Orange Cap at the end of the last game and the Kiwi skipper has been in sensational form this season.
Bhuvneshwar will be the spearhead of SRH’s bowling attack, and he will have the likes of Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan, who were exceptional in the previous match, playing support roles.
Kings XI Punjab are on a roll in the ongoing IPL as they are sitting pretty at the top of the table with 10 points in five games. They have defeated teams like Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders etc. this season and are on their way to the playoffs.
Chris Gayle, who is likely to return to KXIP, and KL Rahul will be expected to carry forward their form. Rahul has amassed 236 runs in his six outings, using his ability to time the ball to find the boundaries regularly. In the middle-order and although the form of Yuvraj Singh is a concern, Kings XI have managed to come out on top despite his struggles this season.
Andrew Tye has been an important performer for Kings XI Punjab; the Australian has been outstanding, particularly bowling in the death. Kings XI Punjab are the only team to score at more than 10 runs an over in the first six overs; their scoring rate in the powerplay overs this season reads 10.30.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 11, Sunrisers Hyderabad won – 8, Kings XI Punjab won – 3
In Hyderabad: Matches – 5, Sunrisers Hyderabad won – 4, Kings XI Punjab won – 1
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.
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.
The match starts at 8 PM IST.