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|Shakib Al Hasan||28||29||3||0||96.55|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||17||1||4.25|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||10||5||2||0||200.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan||3.0||0||18||2||6.00|
Two of the best teams this season will be taking on each other as the Sunrisers Hyderabad get ready to host the Kings XI Punjab. While SRH was expected to be one of the stronger teams this season, Kings XI has taken everyone by surprise. Led by a rookie captain and a seemingly aging set of players, KXIP has lost just one match out of the five it has played so far and sits comfortably on top of the table. They will face a tough test against SRH who have continued to make their bowling the main weapon in this IPL campaign. A fascinating match between two teams in form and with vastly different approaches lies in store.
It looked for a while the SRH’s batting had let them down yet again in their last match against Mumbai. Bowled out for just 118 on the best batting pitch in the country and missing two of its best bowlers, SRH seemed to be all but finished.
As things turned out, SRH showed they have plenty of depth in their bowling stocks and ended up defending 118 with ease. A win by 31 runs is a huge win in T20 cricket but when you consider the total being chased it becomes truly remarkable.
The loss of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake is going to hurt any team and SRH is no different. Stanlake is out for the remainder of the season, however, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar should be back sooner rather than later. Whether he is back for this match is currently unknown.
Kane Williamson would be very glad that Rashid Khan returned to his best in this match and Siddharth Kaul stepped up brilliantly as well. Mohammad Nabi came into this match but was a bit of a disappointment. He is likely to be given another go in the next match considering the potential of Gayle opening the inning.
SRH definitely has the bowling to put a strong Kings XI batting lineup under pressure but do they have the batting to match them for runs?
The return of Shikhar Dhawan makes SRH a much stronger batting team and Kane Williamson has been brilliant as well. A lot more needs to be asked of Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, and Wriddhiman Saha, though.
All three of these players are playing in the top order consistently but have yet to repay the faith of the team. Saha, in particular, looks like he could be on thin ice.
SRH has to ensure its top-order scores runs because its bowling is not going to be able to bail them out every single time. Interestingly, quite a few of the SRH bowlers have had success against Chris Gayle in the past. Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan, and Mohammad Nabi have all troubled the Universe Boss in the past. In their first encounter this season, Gayle overcame every single thing thrown at him and smashed Rashid Kahn out of the park. The bowlers will be looking for some vengeance this time around.
Shikhar Dhawan, KS Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, YK Pathan, WP Saha, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Basil Thampi, Siddarth Kaul, S Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab seems to have hit a jackpot by picking up Chris Gayle for cheap in the auction. He has repaid that faith with some unbelievable form as he continues to reprise his best form from the past. The other punt that Kings XI took was to pick up an out of form and out of favor Yuvraj Singh. That experiment has not gone as well and questions must now be asked about his place in the team.
Yuvraj Singh has looked terribly out of sorts in this tournament so far. He eats up deliveries in the middle, slows down the scoring rate, and increases the pressure on all the batsmen around him. It is his good fortune that he is playing alongside players like Gayle, Rahul, Nair, Mayank Aggarwal, and Aaron Finch all of whom have an excellent strike rate.
Can Ashwin continue to give Yuvraj Singh a long rope based on just his reputation? We think he may get one or two more matches but not more than that.
The strength of this Kings XI team so far has been their batting. Lokesh Rahul is making a very strong case to be included in the Indian team on a more permanent basis by having a truly brilliant IPL. He is the quickest scoring opener in the league right now and scores all his runs playing standard cricketing shots.
Chris Gayle had a slight niggle and missed out the last match. If he is back then David Miller will miss out or else we think the same team as the last game will play. The batting for the Kings XI looks very strong and they really don’t need to change anything.
They go hard at the ball from ball one and continue to play their shots till the end. This tactic can be a little tricky to pull off consistently and they seemed to have run into trouble against Delhi in their last match.
They then pulled out a brilliant bowling performance to dig themselves out of trouble but will want to be careful about not getting into similar situations too often.
We are not convinced about the bowling strength of the Kings XI Punjab team. Ashwin has been stable without being overly threatening and Andrew Tye has been good with his variations. The likes of Ankit Rajpoot and Sran though look like prime candidates to travel. Shikhar Dhawan in the opposition would be sizing them up and licking his lips in anticipation.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been brilliant with the ball and is going to be the main threat to the opposition. How he goes in this match will determine the fortunes of the Kings XI to a large extent.
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, MK Tiwary, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, AJ Tye, AS Rajpoot, Mujib Ur Rahman, Barinder Sran.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
No chance of rain has been forecast. The temperatures are expected to be in the mid-thirties and players could struggle with the heat. The pitch in Hyderabad has offered some bounce to the bowlers and been good for batting. Traditionally, run scoring has become more difficult as the tournament progresses but we think that stage is yet to come. Scores of around 170 should be considered par.
It took a brilliant inning from Gayle to win the Kings XI the match in the last game. It is not certain whether he will be playing this match to try and repeat the dose. SRH, though, has won the four matches preceding that encounter against the Kings XI.
Both the teams are in excellent form. It will be SRH’s bowling against the Kings XI batting. We are backing the home team to come good in this one.
Back the Sunrisers Hyderabad to win.