SRH vs KXIP: We are in the final week of the leagues’ stage and as yet, two teams, CSK and DC, have managed to confirm their berths in the playoffs. The race for the remainder of the 2 spots is intensifying; a testament of the same was the recent game between KKR and MI, where both teams together, put up 430 runs on the board. It was evident that neither of the teams was ready to give up. Fans can expect such power-packed games through this week. The match 48, being a crucial game both for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), could become a stage for some fancy fireworks. This game would help the winning team move one step closer to the top-four spot, while for the losing side, their playoff dreams may turn bleak.
THE STORY SO FAR…
Until two weeks ago, it seemed impossible to stop the SRH team from reaching the semis. The opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow made it their mission to dismantle opposition’s bowling attack, one game after another. SRH handsomely won 3 out of their first 4 games. Cut to two weeks later, they managed just 5 wins in 11 matches and are struggling for a space in the playoffs. SRH still have 3 matches to go in the league stage; if they win one match and lose the rest, their chances of progressing to next round will depend on KXIP and RR’s losing all their matches. Hence, tomorrow’s game will impact SRH in bettering their chances and also spoiling the party for KXIP.
Similar to SRH’s narrative, even KXIP looked strong towards the start of the tournament and eventually went weak, as the tournament has progressed. This now seems like a trend for KXIP, who scripted an almost similar story last year too. With both SRH and KXIP pocketing 10pts, this win can help KXIP further their chances into the playoffs while making it more challenging for SRH.
SRH and KXIP have faced each other in 13 games so far, and SRH have won 69% of all games. KXIP managed to win just 4 out of the total 13 games, while SRH won the remainder 9 matches. On Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, SRH won 5 out of the total 6 games, they played there against KXIP.
The Hyderabad pitch underwent a major makeover after the initial few games. What started off as a dream pitch for every batsman, steadily turned into a slow one, as the tournament progressed. SRH has been very strong on their home ground and have comfortably won their last two matches there. Dew has played a major role in this ground, making run-getting easy for the team that bats second. Tomorrow should be no exception; hence the team winning the toss should elect to bowl first. The team that bats first should eye a total of 160 to 170 to put up a good fight.
Hyderabad is expected to be sultry through the day. At the peak of the day, temperatures are expected to reach 40 Degrees Celsius, which should drop to 30 degrees around the time match commences, at 8 PM. The weather is expected to be very humid around the evening. No rain is in the forecast.
Although SRH’s performance in the last game wasn’t very impressive, the team shall be retained as no player on bench seems worthy enough to fidget with the playing XI. The in-form, Manish Pandey will play a crucial role in the game. He will need to stay longer at the crease, given SRH’s middle order’s poor performance through the tournament. The team might rely on Yusuf Pathan to do some power hitting in the lower order.
Probable XI: David Warner, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed.
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP have very experimental with their selection in this season. They have been trading players in and out, throughout the season so far. However, with playoffs so close, it may not be a smart decision to make rampant changes to the playing side. The team might bring in Sam Curran in this game, costing Hardus Viljoen his spot in the team.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh, Ravi Ashwin (c), Sam Curran, Murugan Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammed Shami.
Both SRH and KXIP have 2 players in the list of Top 10 contenders of the Orange Cap. The list is topped by SRH batsman, David Warner with 611 runs, scored at a strike rate of 143.76. His teammate and opening partner, Jonny Bairstow joins him 2 positions later, at the fourth spot. Gayle and Rahul from KXIP have claimed fifth and sixth spot on this list with 444 and 441 runs respectively.
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Kane Williamson – SRH
KL Rahul – KXIP
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR SRH vs KXIP
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 20:00 IST
The prediction is for SRH to win the game given their advantage at the venue.
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