PREVIEW- SRH VS KXIP
Match 25 of VIVO IPL 2018 will see Kings XI Punjab take on Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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.
Kings XI Punjab meanwhile are on a roll; they have 5 wins out of six and are on a 4-match winning streak. In their most-recent match, they only managed 143, yet walked away with two points from the match after restricting the Delhi Daredevils to 139-8.
The last time these two teams met, SRH were blown away by KXIP’s Chris Gayle. Will SRH be able to return the favour and surge to the top of the standings?
26 April 2018, 2000Hrs (IST)
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad
Kane Williamson is among the few classical batsmen, typecast as a long-format specialist, who has been able to succeed in the IPL; the Kiwi batsman, in his new role as opener, has adapted well to the demands of the format – mainly on the temperament front. Williamson is currently SRH’s top run-getter – with nearly twice the number of the team’s second-highest run-getter. Shikhar Dhawan will be the other individual expected to make big contributions for SRH.
The Sunrisers have struggled with their opening pair this season, and being forced to rejig their combination because of the injury to Billy Stanlake, might have just opened up a window for Alex Hales at the top; the Englishman has a strike-rate of 143.54 in T20 cricket.
Chris Gayle, who is likely to return to KXIP, and KL Rahul will be expected to carry forward their form; Gayle, who missed the previous match to give him time to recover from soreness, has three 50-plus scores this season, and he must surely be licking his lips at the prospect of playing against SRH, against whom he scored a hundred a week ago. Rahul has amassed 236 runs in his six outings, using his ability to time the ball to find the boundaries regularly.
In the context of the IPL, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is among the few bowlers who has vastly improved. After collecting just 24 wickets in 31 matches in his first three seasons, Bhuvneshwar has picked up 93 wickets in 63 matches in the following five seasons (including IPL 2018). 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.
Andrew Tye has been an important performer for Kings XI Punjab; the Australian has been outstanding, particularly bowling in the death. He has collected two wickets each in his last four matches, and will look to extend that stretch .
Mujeeb ur Rahman’s four overs will also be crucial in KXIP’s bowling plans; very few batsmen have managed to decipher and score off the Afghan mystery spinner, and it will be interesting to see how the Sunrisers batsmen, who have had some difficulties against spin, fare against him.
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
When these two teams met earlier this season – in Match 16 – KXIP prevailed after they successfully defended 193 and restricted the Sunrisers to 178-4.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have an outstanding record in IPL matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad; they’ve won 22 and lost 11 of their home matches. More recently, they have won 8 of their last 10 matches at the venue.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s scoring rate against pace this season is 8.37; against spin, it drops to 6.72.
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.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have the best economy rate in the powerplay overs this season – 6.91.
Sunrisers’ next will be their away fixture against the Rajasthan Royals; they will take the field at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on April 29. Kings XI Punjab will enjoy a week’s break before their next fixture, scheduled against Mumbai Indians on May 4 in Mohali.