PBKS stand in way of SRH’s elusive first win


SRH already pressed the panic button in the last game and ended up making four changes. The ploy, however, didn't work.

SRH already pressed the panic button in the last game and ended up making four changes. The ploy, however, didn’t work. © BCCI/IPL

The Overview

Squashing pre-tournament predictions, Sunrisers Hyderabad have made a rocky start to their campaign losing all three games in Chennai so far. Some familiar issues have crept into their game again especially in the batting department and constant changes to that playing XI hasn’t helped either. They certainly find themselves in unfamiliar territory lying at the bottom of the table, being the only winless side in the competition until now. The pre-match narrative will once again revolve around Kane Williamson’s fitness and his potential inclusion in the playing XI. But against a side that’s been erratic so far in the tournament, SRH can fancy their chances of opening their account considering the familiarity in terms of the conditions.

Punjab Kings could have easily been on the same boat as SRH had Sanju Samson timed the last ball of their opening encounter to perfection. Dismissing Samson at the edge of the boundary gave them two points to begin their campaign in thrilling fashion, but since then, they have been beaten comprehensively in the next two games. KL Rahul’s strike rate has once again come under the scanner like it did last season and considering how the surfaces in Chennai have played so far, the skipper cannot afford to take it easy in the powerplay. PBKS are playing only a couple of games in Chennai but wins at this venue can give them immense confidence before they move to Ahmedabad where the surfaces could once again be on the slower side.

When:PBKS vs SRH, April 21, 2021

Where:MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

What to expect:This is the second day-game at this venue this season so a humid day is in the offing. RCB did breach 200 a couple of days ago while batting first but that was largely down to the genius of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. Both teams will be keen on putting runs on the board.

Head To Head:PBKS 5 – SRH 11

The last time these two teams met, SRH suffered one of those batting collapses that they are renowned for. Seven wickets were lost in the space of 14 runs as PBKS successfully defended 126.

Team Watch

Punjab Kings

Tactics & Match-ups: Change in conditions call for change in tactics. Fabian Allen might come into the mix in place of Riley Meredith in order to give PBKS an extra spin option. It will be interesting to see if they bring back Murugan Ashwin or give Ravi Bishnoi a go for the first time this season. Bishnoi was impressive for them last season and Ashwin is familiar with these conditions.

Probable XI:Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C & WK), Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Tactics & Match-ups:SRH already pressed the panic button last game and ended up making four changes. The ploy didn’t work and there could be more changes in the offing now. They badly need a solution in that middle order and if Williamson isn’t fit, they should at least fancy bringing back Jason Holder who did impress with the ball in his first game. If they opt for more experience, don’t be surprised if Kedar Jadhav makes his bow in orange. SRH will also be tempted to use Rashid Khan quite early against Rahul considering the edge he holds over the PBKS skipper.

Probable XI:David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson/Jason Holder, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Kedar Jadhav/Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Khaleel Ahmed

Did you know?

In his last 10 innings against PBKS, David Warner has failed to cross 50 only once.

Since IPL 2020, PBKS have lost four of the six games where Rahul has managed to face more than 30 balls while batting first.

Despite making a strong comeback in national colours, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had a poor start to IPL 2021. In the death, he has conceded runs at a rate of 13.83 so far.

© Cricbuzz


Updated: April 20, 2021 — 3:49 pm

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