SRH vs KXIP preview: Can Punjab turn the tide against Bhuvi-less Hyderabad?
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are ranking first and third respectively in the highest run-getter of this year’s IPL but on collective effort their team Kings XI Punjab have suffered four defeats from five games. Today, the Punjab based club would desperately in the search of the victory.
Rahul’s men will battle Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who too have their own worries amid the presence of some world’s best players in their squad. In such case, none of the two sides will leave any stone unturned to get a much-needed victory.
KXIP’s batting is completely depended on Rahul and Mayank. Despite also having Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran in their ranks, the team in red has fought on almost every occasion once the opening pair has departed. If they goal to enter the play-offs stage, Punjab needs to address this middle-order muddle.
Talking about the bowling department, which has so far revolved only around Indian pacer Mohammed Shami. Barring Shami, the others - M Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Sheldon Cottrell, have failed multiple times. Punjab needs to work as a unit not only against Hyderabad today but in remaining matches too. All eyes will be on Rashid Khan as he needs to lead the entire bowling attack.
Coming to Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Orange Army will be without Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who is ruled out of the tournament due to thigh injury. It would be an opportunity and responsibility for T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed and Sandeep Sharma to fill the gap and hog the limelight in the absence of Bhuvi but it remains to be seen which of them grabs the opportunity.
About batting, after David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, who open the innings, middle-order is magic-less. Though they have NZ captain Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, the middle-order looks shaky.
KXIP: KL Rahul (C), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Sarfaraz Khan, Harpreet Brar, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Shami, Sheldon Cottrell
SRH: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan. Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Siddarth Kaul/Khaleel Ahmed