Dubai : After three consecutive wins, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have managed to remain afloat in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The KL Rahul-led side will now face a stern test when they take on fifth-placed SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 43rd contest of the season here on Saturday. Both Punjab and Hyderabad are on eight points but the David Warner-led team is a spot ahead in the points-table, thanks to their better net run rate. The two teams now need to win all their remaining games in order to remain in contention for the next round. KXIP captain KL Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal have been in sublime form and the arrival of Chris Gayle has further bolstered their top-order.
However, Glenn Maxwell’s consistency remains doubtful as, barring the last game against Delhi Capitals (DC), the Aussie has not been up to the mark. Nicholas Pooran has been a useful hand in the middle order for KXIP and notably led them to victory in their last match. Mohammed Shami has been exceptional with the ball and the inclusion of Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham has provided more depth to KXIP bowling. Neesham’s ability with the bat is well known and he is yet to give a glimpse of his abilities this IPL.
On the other hand, SRH showed in their previous game that they have reliable batsmen apart from David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson. While Williamson had missed out the last outing, Pandey and Sh’nkar’s gritty knocks helped SRH cross the line with ease against Rajasthan Royals. Also, the addition of Jason Holder in the playing XI has boosted their pace attack. Shahbaz Nadeem and Rashid Khan will once again be their key man in the spin attack and the duo will have to jolt their opposition at regular intervals. Squads:
SunRisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (Captain), Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, James Neesham, Tajinder Singh, Chris Jordan, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Darshan Nalkande, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Murugan Ashwin, Jagadeesha Suchith, Krishnappa Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Simran Singh