As per certain speculations before the beginning of this edition’s IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad was expected to lie at the bottom of the points table. A question may arise that how come a team with such decent past performances, the IPL runners-up in 2018 could simply lose their charm? The answer is squad depth.
Currently, SRH does not have enough backing on the bench, while the ones on the pitch are having a hard time putting up numbers. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury, the team is more exposed in their bowling department despite some young and effective bowlers being in the team because now they don’t have enough experience. Experience and your future in the game are very much proportional as the more experienced you are, the better the chances are for you to make the best use of the conditions and the pitch available.
However, their opponents for the game, KXIP were not expected to be at this position, especially not when you have an almost fully firing batting line-up. The issue for the Preity Zinta team has been the ‘almost.’ Despite the openers, skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal being exquisite with the bat, the team has fallen short to do anything when they both failed to perform, specifically while chasing.
While KXIP’s other concern is their death bowling. The tournament is not gone far for them but the team that fails to get the points from this game will only need a miracle to reach the playoffs. SRH and KXIP play on October 8 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.
Head to Head
Matches: 14, SRH: 10, KXIP: 4, N/R: 0
Sunrisers have always been a team reliant on their bowling. Now, their bowling attack not involving Bhuvi will be an issue for the team, considering they look it at as long-term. Despite their unacceptable performance against the Mumbai Indians, Sandeep Sharma who replaced Bhuvneshwar did well. This certainly means that a perfectly planned execution can still cause a significant enhancement in SRH’s bowling.
The top order will have to start owning up for their failures and do nothing but reflect their true potential in the games to follow. Bairstow has been off his regime completely, while a usually responsible batsman like Manish Pandey is getting dismissed too softly and that too on multiple occasions.
For KXIP, the exasperating loss against the Chennai Super Kings was in a way another dent on their bowling attack. A loss by 10 wickets is not something that can win you the tournament and the squad needs to understand that only Mohammad Shami cannot win you games single-handedly, despite his crucial contributions in the games they’ve won so far.
The batting department has to show more promise, especially the number 3,4,5 positions as they are the main architects of an inning. Most importantly, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair/Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran are still very far from their true potential. IPL playoffs have spots for only those teams who depict the right balance required and show qualities of getting out of pressure situations.
Pitch and Conditions: This IPL has been one of the very few editions where the toss has had such a mighty role in the result. The biggest teams and even some destructive batting line-ups have failed to chase pretty low totals this season and it seems that winning the toss has become an important strategy lately.
The pitch is expected to be better for the team batting first, while the team chasing will have to hold on more than they would want to. The second-inning curse is yet not vanished in Dubai and it will be interesting to see how the two teams battle it out.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Rashid Khan, Prithvi Raj Yarra.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C and WK), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle/ Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham.
Jonny Bairstow (SRH) vs Mohammad Shami (KXIP)
Jonny Bairstow had a wonderful start to this season’s IPL, he looked in decent touch and his strokes were crisp too. However, since SRH’s loss to RCB, Bairstow has lost his way and his technique seems to have shaken. He had problems getting his inning forward and converting the 30s into 50s or 100s.
His fight will be against Mohammad Shami who has been very solid in this edition of the IPL. He is bowling quick, his bouncers have been lethal and all he requires is some composure while bowling at the death. The battle between the two could go either way and the odds are definitely not one-sided.
Sandeep Sharma (KXIP) vs KL Rahul (KXIP)
Sandeep Sharma finally got a chance to feature in the squad due to an unfortunate injury to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He bowled well as he managed to strike early and it was no ordinary batsman but the ‘hitman’ Rohit Sharma. Despite not being one of the quickest bowlers in the business, Sandeep Sharma has always been a handy swing bowler to open the innings with and has contributed to SRH’s successes too.
He will be against KL Rahul, who started his IPL with a bang but the captaincy pressure perhaps led to some poor performances, especially while his side was chasing. Rahul would be looking to bounce back harder as he already knows that his contributions hold almost the double credits when compared to others. The battle between a great ball swinger and a more or less in form bat swinger will surely be an interesting one to watch.
The game should be a tight one as both the teams are expected to give their best. The approach is expected to be do-or-die for both the parties but we know only one of them can come on top.
Cricwizz predicts SRH to win this match