KXIP, SRH-look Escape In The Middle Of The Table In A Mess > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - KXIP, SRH look to wriggle out of mid-table muddle
As the mid-table scrap heats up in the Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad lock horns in a crucial tie in Hyderabad on Monday (April 29). The mid-table tussle is such that as many as five teams are separated by a mere two points. So with both SRH and KXIP sitting on 10 points, a victory for either of them would give them a bit of breathing space.
It has been a roller-coaster season for SRH. After an impressive start, the Hyderabad franchise lost their way with three losses. They came back to win two in a row before slumping to losses in both their previous games against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively. Ahead of the RR game, Jonny Bairstow, the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman, travelled back to England to join the preparatory camp for the World Cup, which sets SRH further back given that he was as one-half of the successful opening pair with David Warner.
The dashing batsman's importance can be capsulised by the fact that he averaged over 55 and at a strike-rate of 157.24. In Bairstow's absence, SRH had to rejig their line-up with Wriddhiman Saha taking over the 'keeping duties and batting lower down the order. SRH also would be concerned with the lack of firepower in the lower-middle order. Despite being in a strong position at 121 for 2 in their game versus RR, SRH collapsed in a heap, losing their next six wickets for just 26 runs. On the bowling front, SRH have tended to rely on Rashid Khan. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn't exactly made an impact, snaring eight scalps at 41.5 so far.
On a positive note, the SRH camp would be thrilled with Manish Pandey's form. The enterprising batsman had made the number three position his own by accruing scores of 83* and 61 over the last two games. KXIP, their opponents, too seem to be sailing in the same boat. They too have lost their last two games to find themselves in the mid-table muddle. KXIP have tended to depend on their opening pair - Chris Gayle (444 runs) and KL Rahul (441 runs) - to pilot them to huge scores. R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami have been the mainstays on the bowling side. The KXIP camp also would be worried about their bowling in the slog overs. In their previous game versus Royal Challengers Bangalore, KXIP gave away 80 runs in the last five.
When: Monday, April 29, 2019, 8:00 PM
Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
What to expect: The track could be a tad on the slower side. It is expected to be another hot day in Hyderabad.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: SRH has the option of picking the 'keeper-batsman Shreevats Goswami and use him as a floater at the top of the order. The hosts could also be tempted to select Mohammad Nabi as he has been a wicket-taker for them this season. Sandeep Sharma could also usurp Siddarth Kaul after the latter had a forgettable outing versus RR.
Probable XI: David Warner, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul/Sandeep Sharma, K Khaleel Ahmed
Kings XI Punjab: Ankit Rajpoot has been expensive over a couple of games and that could open up a slot for Arshdeep Singh or Sam Curran. Having said that Curran has also struggled for consistency while Arshdeep is only 19 and inexperienced. KXIP also has injury worries with both Moises Henriques and Mujeeb Ur Rahman sustaining injuries.
Probable XI: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran(w), Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot/Sam Curran/Arshdeep Singh, Murugan Ashwin Mohammed Shami
What they said:
"It is a very fine line in this game. It is important to move forward. We were always considering those options (sixth bowler). We thought it would reverse. It was best option to stick with five" - Kane Williamson, after the loss against RR.
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