Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), who take each other on at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in match 19 of IPL 2017, have a couple of similarities.
Firstly, both these teams won their first two matches but go into this contest on Easter Monday (April 17) on the back of consecutive losses. And secondly, Sunrisers and Kings XI have won both their home matches and lost both their away matches.
Sunrisers lead the head-to-head record against Kings XI by 6-2. At the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, tonight’s hosts have a record of 3-1 against Punjab.
Match 19: SRH v KXIP Playing XI
Despite their back-to-back losses, Sunrisers are a pretty settled side who hence do not have to make wholesale changes. Their batting line-up with the likes of David Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, and Shikhar Dhawan, is one of the fearsome in the league and on the bowling front, they have two bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan, who are in the race for the purple cap.
Mustafizur Rahman dropped out of the playing XI against KKR because Moises Henriques had recovered from an upset stomach and returned to action. And, as a genuine and reliable all-rounder, Henriques can in no way be dropped. So, if the Bangladeshi fast-medium pacer has to be picked, Ben Cutting might have to be sacrificed. This is the decision that the SRH team management have to make, while the rest of the team looks settled and should be persisted with.
Probable SRH playing XI v Kings XI: 1. David Warner, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Moises Henriques, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Deepak Hooda, 6. Naman Ojha, 7. Bipul Sharma, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Ashish Nehra, 10. Rashid Khan, and 11. Ben Cutting/Mustafizur Rahman
Actual playing XI for SRH: 1. David Warner, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Moises Henriques, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Deepak Hooda, 6. Naman Ojha, 7. Siddarth Kaul, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Barinder Sran, 10. Rashid Khan, and 11. Mohammad Nabi
Kings XI, after having begun the campaign superbly, seem to be in deep waters. In Twenty20, you can have a couple of bad matches and tonight’s visitors at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium might think that they have just had a couple of tough matches and can turn things around.
The biggest worry for Kings XI has to be the one-dimensional and mercurial nature of their bowling attack comprising three Indian seamers, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Varun Aaron, who have been taken for plenty of runs in the last couple of matches.
The positive amid the gloom for Kings XI is the squad options available to them. They have two quality overseas batsmen in Martin Guptill and Shaun Marsh, a good medium pace bowler in Matt Henry and a middle order batsman as Gurkeerat Singh Mann. Of course, the team management have to decide who lends them the coveted balance and bolsters the playing XI.
For tonight’s clash, KXIP might well look at including New Zealand medium pacer Henry in their playing XI for Eoin Morgan or Hashim Amla, and also bring in Gurkeerat Singh for Aaron. Even after their 51-run loss to Delhi on Saturday, I believe that Kings XI’s batting isn’t as much of a worry as the bowling.
KXIP’s probable playing XI v Sunrisers (SRH): 1. Glenn Maxwell, 2. Manan Vohra, 3. Wriddhiman Saha, 4. David Miller, 5. Gurkeerat Singh, 6. Eoin Morgan, 7. KC Cariappa, 8. Matt Henry, 9. Sandeep Sharma, 10. Mohit Sharma, and 11. Axar Patel
Actual playing XI for KXIP: 1. Glenn Maxwell, 2. Manan Vohra, 3. Wriddhiman Saha, 4. David Miller, 5. Ishant Sharma, 6. Eoin Morgan, 7. KC Cariappa, 8. Hashim Amla, 9. Sandeep Sharma, 10. Mohit Sharma, and 11. Axar Patel