Cricket

IPL 2020: Sunrisers Hyderabad Meets Kings XI Punjab In Dubai – What To Expect?

Sunrisers Hyderabad had finally picked up some pace in the tournament with two consecutive wins. But they hit a bump once again with a 34-run loss against defending the champions, Mumbai Indians in the last match. They dropped down to the seventh position in the IPL table with only 2 wins in 5 matches.

KXIP, however, has had an even rockier tournament. They are currently at the bottom of the table, having managed to win only 1 in 5 outings – against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both teams will be desperate to get back to winning ways. Fans can expect an all-out contest between the two teams that will take place at Dubai International Stadium tomorrow, on October 8, Thursday.

SRH’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far

SRH started with two heavy losses against RCB and KKR but managed to bounce back with two wins against DC and CSK. In their last match, they lost to Mumbai Indians despite a good knock by skipper David Warner.

They are now tied with KKR, CSK, and RR at four points each, and a win here can take them to the top half of the table – an ideal place to be. But a loss would mean they could damage their chances of recovery from the position. So far, SRH has been a balanced team, somewhat lacking in the death bowling – a problem they share with tomorrow’s rivals.

Players That Can Change The Game

Sunrisers Hyderabad has always been dependent on fast bowling. But it has taken a hit with their main pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar out on an injury. However, his replacement Sandeep Sharma has not disappointed, picking up the much important wicket of Rohit Sharma in the previous match.

Rashid Khan continues to shine with the spin in the middle overs and bottleneck the run flow, while T Natarajan kept good support with Yorkers. But death bowling has proved to be a problem as Siddharth Kaul was sent all over the park against MI. But it was his first match of the season, and he can be expected to be given another chance.

No one from SRH’s batting order has stood out as such. But they have performed well as a team. In their first victory of the season against the Delhi Capitals, Jonny Bairstow scored a half-century while Kane Williamson and David Warner made 40+ scores each.

Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma have looked good and contributed to a fighting total in their second win against CSK. Manish Pandey, on whom the team depends for the middle-overs, has seemed too adventurous, resulting in early dismissals more than once. However, they have enough firepower in their batting order and is likely to stick with the combination.

KXIP’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far

When KXIP managed that clinical victory over RCB in the second match, thanks to a brilliant century knock by skipper KL Rahul, many expected them to continue with the momentum. But they succumbed to one loss after another, making their way to the last position. However, their net run rate of +0.178 suggests that KXIP has put up a fight in each defeat and only lost by a small margin.

KXIP’s batting has been quite phenomenal this season. Despite a middle-order shaky performance, KXIP’s batting has not let the team down – or at least not as much as bowling. Their death bowling remains a problem, as three out of the main five bowlers giving away runs at an economy rate of 10 or more. They would want to have a better edge to their bowling come tomorrow’ match.

Players That Can Change The Game

KL Rahul has been leading the team as a captain as well as a batsman. He is currently holding the Orange Cap for the highest run-scorer, with Mayank Agarwal behind him in the third position. They have both scored a ton each so far, although only Rahul’s was in a winning cause.

The middle-order could use a bit more spark, possibly in the form of Glenn Maxwell. He has been out of touch so far. Nicholas Pooran and Krishnappa Gowtham are not doing bad, but fans would want to see Maxwell back in his usual effortless class. The inclusion of Chris Gayle is a much-anticipated one but is unlikely to happen in tomorrow’s match. 

When it comes to bowling, except for Mohammad Shami and Ravi Bishnoi, none has managed to leave a mark. Either Sheldon Cottrell or Chris Jordan should ideally empty an overseas spot for Mujeeb Ur Rahman. With the tournament proceeding fast, KXIP should find a good bowling combination to rely on soon.

The Venue, Pitch, And Verdict

SRH has a slightly bigger chance of clinching the victory over KXIP with the well-balanced team they have. They have a more or less settled combination and some good spinners in the team that will come in handy in Dubai’s pitch.

Humidity is expected to be 70% and temperature to be 30.8°C with a clear sky above. The pitch, true to all UAE grounds, is likely to be in favor of the batsmen.