It will be a mid-table clash at Hyderabad on Monday, April 17 in IPL 2017 as Hyderabad Sunrisers and Kings XI Punjab look to dust the recent losses and avoid sliding down the table – making this an interesting clash.
The Sunrisers looked to be the team to beat but two quick losses pegged their season back. Yuvraj Singh’s swashbuckling innings won them the opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then it was Rashid Khan who led them to a comprehensive win against Gujarat Lions.
But their campaign ran a roadblock in the next two matches losing against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. The lack of runs from the middle-order manned by Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha is hurting them and putting more pressure on Dhawan-Warner combo at the top.
Bowling remains settled though with Bhuvneswar Kumar and Rashid Khan settling into their roles really well. The fifth-bowler option still is a worry though as Bipul Sharma and Moises Henriques are leaking runs.
Kings XI won two of their first three matches – against Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore. But the loss against Kolkata Knight Riders highlighted problems with their balance.
And against Delhi Daredevils, they really struggled to keep them under check with all bowlers leaking runs. Varun Aaron’s consistent tryst with expensive returns could throw his place into jeopardy. Sandeep Sharma continues to perform admirably and his poor return against Delhi is a minor aberration.
Maxwell still has a problem of balance with the lack of runs from domestic Indian players hurting his team badly. Manan Vohra’s poor run at the top could force a change and they may even be forced to look at promoting one of Maxwell or Stoinis to open.
Hooda’s continuous failures make him a sitting duck in the middle-order and Sunrisers may look to replace him with Ricky Bhui or Ekalavya Dwivedi. Also waiting for his first game is Pravin Tambe and Bipul Sharma’s poor form with the ball may force Warner’s hand.
Punjab’s slide should be arrested and Maxwell could be thinking hard at including Gurkeerat Mann in place of Vohra. That may mean a shuffle in the batting line-up and don’t be surprised if Maxwell opens the innings.
Sunrisers were dominant against Kings XI last year winning both the games comfortably. Warner, Dhawan and Mustafizur impressed for Hyderabad across both matches.
Both sides would be desperate to improve their fortunes although Sunrisers look better placed. In a clash of two Australian aggressive captains, Warner may just have the edge. Back Sunrisers to win the match at odds of $1.74 (Unibet
Warner must be smarting from the twin losses and would be eager to get the campaign back on track. Knowing his penchant to lead from the front, he could well turn out to be the best Sunrisers batsman. Odds being offered are $2.87 (bet365
If Maxwell gets to play more deliveries, he could prove to be the difference for Kings XI. Back him at odds of $5.00 (Sportsbet
) to be their top batsman. With the ball, Bhuvneswar Kumar may turn out to be the top bowler for Sunrisers.