IPL 2018, SRH vs KXIP: Who will win today's match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab
The No.1 spot on the table will be on the line as Kings XI Punjab take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at Hyderabad on Thursday. The No.2 ranked Kings XI and the No.3 ranked SRH both know that a win is all it takes to get them to the top of the table. Although it is still early days, that will get them one step closer to making the playoffs.
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An in-form Kings XI Punjab, who have won four in a row will take on an SRH side, which just managed to end a two-game losing streak. While one side relies primarily on their batting, the other have shown that they have the bowling attack to defend any total. What will happen as one of the most explosive batting line-ups in the tournament comes up against the most formidable bowling line-up?
And who will come out on top in this battle between bat and ball? Here is a look at what might happen as Kane Williamson takes on Ravichandran Ashwin.
Date: April 26
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Time: 20:00 IST
If Sunrisers Hyderabad bat first
Predicted score: 160+
The biggest concern for SRH heading into their game against KXIP is the fitness of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pacer misses the thrilling win over MI in which SRH defended a low total without either Billy Stanlake or reigning purple cap holder.
Kane Williamson had the Orange Cap at the end of the last game and the Kiwi skipper has been in sensational form this season. He has been the sole constant in the batting line-up that has seen plenty of changes as far as batting position is concerned.
Shikhar Dhawan will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing run following his comeback from injury. Along with the two of them, SRH will need their middle-order to contribute. The trio of Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda and Shakib Al Hasan haven't been up to the mark with the bat so far and that needs to change.
Especially against a bowling line-up with plenty of variety. A good start and some useful cameos from the middle-order might be enough to get SRH over 160.
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted score: 165+
Under new leadership, Kings XI Punjab are flying high so far in IPL 2018. Their strong batting line-up will face their toughest test so far as they take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad away from home.
In their last game, they dropped Chris Gayle and it will be interesting to see if they do it again, especially considering that Gayle got a century against SRH in the game earlier this season. Irrespective of whether Gayle plays or not, KXIP still have a strong batting line-up that is in form.
KL Rahul has taken to his new home like a duck to water, Karun Nair has been phenomenal in his role in the middle-order and although the form of Yuvraj Singh is a concern, Kings XI have managed to come out on top despite his struggles this season.
Kings XI need a win to go back on top and it won't be easy. Especially against a resurgent Rashid Khan, who bounced back after two poor games with a Man of the Match performance against Mumbai Indians. Bhuvneshwar Kumar looks set to return to the side and even if he doesn't, in Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and Basil Thampi, SRH still have plenty of fire power with the ball to get the job done. There will be some swing early on and for all of Kings XI's batting prowess they will do well score in excess of 165 against this bowling attack.
Since this is a home game and Sunrisers Hyderabad have a stellar home record over the past two seasons, they have an immediate advantage over Kings XI Punjab. After having defended the second lowest score in IPL history in a high-scoring venue in their previous, SRH will be full of confidence and against a side that have relied largely on individual brilliance with the bat, SRH's bowling arsenal might be enough to help them claim another win.
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