Two teams who, on paper, rely heavily on their first order go head to head in Dubai – this is Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, both teams in the bottom three of the 2020 IPL points table at this point
The Kings XI have lost their last three games and are the last of eight teams despite KL Rahul (302) and Mayank Agarwal (272) being among the top three scorers this season The pair’s success – they’ve scored over 63% of the team’s points so far – has meant the middle order has been a bit cooked. And with no bowler apart from Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi who quite hit their stride, many team combinations (15 players in five games) were tried – and dismissed – leaving them with an XI in the air. unstable They need to urgently break their losing streak, or risk going another season without a final four, having last reached it in 2014.
Rahul, despite all the runs, is also a concern With hit rates of 122 in balls 1-10, 119 in 11-20, 103 in 21-30 and 123 in 31-40, the downside of putting a price on its wicket and being an anchor is that the team is forced to underutilize their important resources – Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan and sometimes James Neesham – in order
When it comes to their bowling, Shami and Sheldon Cottrell found the first breakthroughs to make them the best bowling team in powerplay But despite that, the Kings XI have only taken two or more wickets once between seven and 15 so far, and the lack of breakthroughs has meant conceding many in the dead. Will Chris Jordan keep his place or can they finally find a place for Mujeeb Ur Rahman?
The Sunrisers, currently sixth, are better off – but barely – after learning that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is out for the season with a thigh injury he suffered against the Chennai Super Kings
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey have contributed in a few games, but none of them have been consistent And on the days when two or more of them fail, the pressure shifts to their very young middle and lower order Although that means Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad had the chance to impress, the Sunrisers might consider allrounders Mohammad Nabi or Fabian Allen to add some experience However, that would likely mean leaving Williamson in Kumar’s absence, their unit of rhythm is also inexperienced
Overall, there is no clear favorite to enter the contest Both teams need to start before the early players part ways from the field, and Thursday’s game could be the start of that – for one of the two teams
Prithvi Raj Yarra has been named as Kumar’s replacement, but it may be a while before he gets a match, especially if more experienced left-arm couturier Khaleel Ahmed – who missed the Sunrisers this weekend – is in good shape
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (captain), 2 Jonny Bairstow (week), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Priyam Garg, 6 Abhishek Sharma, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Siddarth Kaul, 11 years old Natarajan
Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (captain), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Mandeep Singh, 4 Nicholas Pooran (sem), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Chris Jordan / James Neesham, 8 Harpreet Brar / M Ashwin, 9 Sheldon Cottrell, 10 Mohammad Shami, 11 Ravi Bishnoi
With three foreign players in the Sunrisers’ top four, the Kings XI could field Mujeeb ur Rahman, who is a mainstay of the new ball The spinner can drift into right batsmen or through lefties
The Kings XI have the stimulators to trouble Bairstow from the start, provided they play a good length. He has a strike rate of 79 and an average of 1,350 against those deliveries this season, with two layoffs; and in Shami and Cottrell, the Kings XI have the resources to exploit
While Nabi or Allen may be spin options for the Sunrisers, they might also consider bringing in the other versatile of their ranks – Jason Holder, who replaced Mitchell Marsh earlier. At CPL he had a batting rate of 140 on very difficult surfaces and has experience of bowling in the middle and death.
Winning the draw and the bat seems like the smart move here In the first nine matches in Dubai, the teams opted to play seven times but lost each of the matches In fact, the Sunrisers are the only team to choose to beat and win a match here
Last season, Warner and Bairstow’s first pair of the Sunrisers had over 60% of the team’s points, scoring at a strike rate of 164 while securing three half-century stands and four centuries This season they have only one lone stand of over fifty so far.Among batsmen with at least four innings, Bairstow (105) and Warner (111) are only ahead of Sunil Narine (87) on the roster. lowest powerplay strike rates
Agarwal has only faced four Googlies this season, but has been sacked twice by them; 57% of Rashid Khan’s deliveries this season have been googlies
Warner has scored half a century in each of his last eight games against the Kings XI
The Kings XI concede 148 races per over in the death over, the poorest of all the teams
Sunrisers Hyderabad, Indian Premier League, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cricket, Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings, National Cricket Team of India, Kolkata Knight Riders
World News – GB – Top-heavy Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad seek good XIs and move up the points table
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