The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab are both coming off the back of two consecutive losses and would be determined to get back to winning ways. Both these teams started their campaign with a bang winning their first 2 matches. However, they have been humbled by losses in the next two matches. Here is Match Preview and Predictions for Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab.
The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is expected to favour the batsmen mostly. Spinners might also prove to be effective here and hence, Rashid Khan may be a threat for the opposition. The highest score on this track has been 207 by SRH this season. Thereby, we may be in for a high scoring encounter tonight.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – STRENGTHS
The Punjab team looked really good in their first two matches this season. Hashim Amla has been giving the KXIP excellent starts with able support from Manan Vohra. Glenn Maxwell and David Miller have been in sublime touch and would prove to be really dangerous. Axar Patel has been a superstar for KXIP according to Maxwell. Contributing with both bat and ball, Axar can be a match-winner for his team. In the bowling department, Varun Aaron has been a consistent wicket-taker. Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma had also looked good in the initial matches.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – CONCERNS
Virender Sehwag needs to iron out a few creases before today’s clash against the defending champions. The form of Wriddhiman Saha has been a tad worrying. The spot for the 4th overseas player is also up for grabs with Marcus Stoinis being dropped in the previous match and Eoin Morgan failing to make much of an impact. Darren Sammy may get a look in or they may want to persist with Morgan for a few more matches. The spin bowling would be a primary concern for the Maxwell’s boys as apart from Axar Patel, they do not possess a potent spinner in their ranks. With the pitch expected to favour spinners, K.C Cariappa may get another chance.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – STRENGTHS
The defending champions have looked to be a strong side and they would be determined to keep any further hiccups at bay. With Warner at the top supported by Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh, the batting power looks menacing. However, the main strength of the Sunrisers is their bowling. The veteran Ashish Nehra and the Purple Cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar form the lethal pace attack. The teenager Rashid Khan has been absolutely brilliant with very few batsmen being able to pick his deliveries. He may be the gamechanger again today.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – CONCERNS
Sunrisers would be concerned about the consistently inconsistent Shikhar Dhawan’s form as he has been very patchy. Deepak Hooda also needs to take some extra responsibility and play in a mature manner. Naman Ojha, as a batsman, has been very disappointing. The role of Bipul Sharma, the spinner, is still unclear as he rarely gets to bowl all his overs. Ben Cutting has been particularly unimpressive having scored 51 runs in 3 innings and conceded 123 runs in 12.4 overs These are a few issues which Warner would like to address as soon as possible in order to get back to winning habits. Playing Mohammad Nabi in place of Ben Cutting on a spin-friendly track at Hyderabad may be a good move.
KXIP – Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Eoin Morgan/Darren Sammy, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, K.C Cariappa.
SRH – Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi, Naman Ojha, Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall : Played – 8, KXIP won – 2, SRH won – 6
At Hyderabad : Played –4, KXIP won – 1, SRH won – 3
CONCLUSION AND MATCH PREDICTION
With both the teams in a similar situation, a couple of points would be welcome. It is essential for SRH and KXIP to play their best cricket in order to end their losing streak. Both the teams love to chase and we can expect the toss to be a crucial determinant of the match result. Although SRH look to be a stronger and more balanced team on paper, an upset can be on the cards if Maxwell & co. fire at the right time. Here’s our prediction for today’s match.
TOSS – KXIP wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 175-185
MATCH – SRH win by 15 – 25 runs.
TOSS – SRH wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 160-170
MATCH – SRH win by 5-7 wickets.