IPL 2020: In-form KXIP look for their fourth consecutive win in their clash against SRH
Whoever of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) or Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) wins today's encounter, would strengthen their chances of a play-off berth while the loser would be hurt dearly.
With a solitary win in 7 games, KXIP were reeling at the bottom of the table and their campaign looked all but over. Since then, they have managed three consecutive wins against the top 3 teams of the tournament and a win today (provided that Kolkata lose the afternoon fixture) would see them breaking into the top 4.
Win against the top placed teams in the tournament is the kind of confidence a team would need in times of must-win encounters.
Things have started working well for KXIP as their bowling has finally peaked. The attack, which looked lethal at the start of the tournament only to fizzle out at the death phase of all matches, has started to do well there too. In case of batting, their openers have dominated since the start and now they have the Universe Boss Chris Gayle at number 3, who has done well so far. With Nicolas Pooran in his element and striking on bowlers like lightning, KL Rahul would be a reassured captain. The only worry for them would be Glen Maxwell. The flamboyant batsman still doesn't have a six to show for in the tournament. The Kings would want him to fire, to qualify as well as for the scenario where they do qualify. He has been handy with the ball lately, sneaking in silent overs at different phases of the innings.
For SRH, it has been a season of mixed emotions. On days that they win, they look like a fearsome side and on days that they do not, they look like someone who can be written off easily.
The last game would have helped David Warner with having some confidence in his setup. Jason Holder added firepower to the bowling lineup as he got 3 wickets in his first match of the season. In the chase, Manish Pandey launched a brilliant counter-attack and stayed to the end to see his team home. Vijay Shankar played a good second fiddle as he notched up an almost run-a-ball fifty of his own.
It is unlikely for any of the teams to make a change to their winning combinations.
KXIP: KL Rahul (c, wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, James Neesham, M Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Shami.
SRH: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem/Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan