The last time a side faced Sunrisers Hyderabad from the bottom of the table, they trashed open CSK with a great performance led by Priyam Garg. However, this time, they face Kings XI Punjab, a side which has threatened to win a lot in the past but has failed to, can they change their fortunes?
Sunrisers Hyderabad - L W W L L
Two wins sandwiched between three losses - sums up Sunrisers Hyderabad’s inconsistent form thus far in the tournament. While they were slow to get off the box, their middle passage was efficient and effective to reduce Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals to a loss. However, since the purple patch, they fell flat on their face against Mumbai Indians in a batting-friendly wicket at Sharjah chasing a below-par total. While SRH are reduced to two players down with injuries, they will be happy with the fact that their skipper David Warner has returned to some sort of form in the season. After suffering in the early parts, Warner has now scored 175 runs for them, averaging 35.
Kings XI Punjab - L L L W L
A team that has shocked em’ all with their approach this season, Kings XI Punjab walk into this encounter on the back of a carrying a ‘wooden spoon’ for some time now. Two major things that have not worked well for them - their fragility in the middle order and a bowling attack that looks weak on and off the paper. Ahead of the clash against Sunrisers, the management would want to have a keen and longer look at the middle order, shuffle it up so that the results can finally start coming their way. Another loss would only mean that they would need nothing short of a miracle to regain themselves in the tournament.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - David Warner
When the skipper is leading the side from the front, the others just stop and stare at his brilliance, such is David Warner’s impact on the franchise thus far. He has been their pillar of strength, their major contributor to the runs section thus far in the IPL history. No one has come daringly close to what Warner has achieved with the Sunrisers franchise, with excellent consistency. However, during the start of the season, for the first time, it felt like he was looking out of sorts, out of shape, terribly underperforming. But as Warner does it, he brought back the standards of his game, starting putting up totals and became the top run-scorer for the franchise thus far in the tournament. 175 runs in five games is good but they would want more of it from their skipper against KXIP.
Kings XI Punjab - KL Rahul
The roles for the Kings XI Punjab batsmen have been pretty clear, Mayank Agarwal is the aggressor, KL Rahul is the run-accumulator and then there is the middle order, which has failed time and time. But they need to put an end to their struggle and soon against SRH otherwise, their tournament would be in a lot of trouble. While both of the openers have scored a century each, the impetus would be on increasing the scoring rate towards the end of the innings, which has caused them to worry. Given Rahul’s ‘orange’ form, with 302 runs in just five appearances, look no further than him for Punjab’s best batsman.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Rashid Khan
A story similar to their skipper David Warner, Rashid Khan too has faced a slump in the early stages of the tournament. After being hailed as one of the best T20 spinners around the globe, his form in the first two games gave the franchise a lot of headaches. However, the champion bowler himself returned back to a touch well-known in the IPL, with wickets around the corner. While he has just picked up five wickets in five games, he would want to exploit Punjab’s fragile middle-order to get more wickets and slowly put himself up on the wicket-taking list. The time has finally arrived when Rashid Khan would come good for the Sunrisers.
Kings XI Punjab - Mohammed Shami
The purple cap has made its way around several heads since Mohammed Shami first made it his own. That’s the beauty of the IPL, with bowlers putting on their top show in the tournament that lasts two months. However, after a lean patch, with no wickets against Chennai Super Kings, Shami would want to bring his ‘A’ game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, with eight wickets thus far in the tournament. With the right-arm seamer equally good with his inswinger and outswinger, he can come certainly good against the left-right combination of Bairstow-Warner.
KXIP: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Jordan, Harpreet Brar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai
When to Watch: Oct 8, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)