VIVO IPL 2019 has reached a critical juncture where every match result can have a bearing on the teams that would make the playoffs. A pretty strong performance from Delhi Capitals yesterday took them to sixteen points and sealed their place in the playoffs, a first in seven years for the Delhi franchise.
On the other hand, RCB are almost out of contention for the playoffs. Six consecutive defeats suffered earlier in the season ended any positives from a three-game winning streak that ended at the Feroz Shah Kotla yesterday.
Tonight, it’s the clash between two teams needing to win as KXIP face SRH in the latter's home. Both have ten points from eleven games and must win their remaining games to finish 4th or 3rd in the points table once the league stages get over. The surprising part is the rather consistent and strong SRH find themselves in tough situation.
Their openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow set the tournament ablaze with their batting, but their bowlers haven’t performed to potential. Opposition teams are playing out Rashid Khan quietly and that’s exposed the other bowlers who haven’t stood up.
KXIP on the other hand have had a mixed campaign so far. On some days, everything has worked perfectly and, on some days, everything falls apart. The problem lies with a rather fragile bowling attack too dependent on Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin. Andrew Tye’s dismal form and Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s injury hasn’t helped.
In a crucial matchup where both teams must be at the top of their games, will playing at home work in favor of SRH? Here’s a statistical preview of tonight’s game:
1. SRH have the lid over KXIP when they play at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium at Hyderabad. In the past six outings, SRH have won on five occasions. Can KXIP better this head to head record tonight?
2. David Warner, the holder of the Orange Cap enjoys playing at SRH’s home ground. He has amassed 352 runs at an average of 70.4 with four fifties and a hundred. He also fancies KXIP too as he has hit nine fifties against them - the most by any player against any opponent.
3. Bhuvenshwar Kumar has a very impressive bowling average of 16.14 in thirteen games against KXIP. He would be looked upon to get the early wickets of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle tonight.
4. KL Rahul averages an impressive 45.75 against the Hyderabad franchise. Rahul has scored 183 runs in five games. KXIP certainly would need him to bat deep in the crunch match tonight.
5. Manish Pandey’s IPL 2019 saw a resurrection of sorts when he went on to belt two consecutive fifties against CSK and RR in 26 and 27 balls respectively. He can go into tonight’s clash in the knowledge that he has a very good record against KXIP. He has scored 485 runs against KXIP in the IPL at a good average of 34.54.
6. Rashid Khan (49 wickets) needs one wicket to get to 50 wickets for SRH. He would join Bhuvi (104 wickets) as the only bowlers to cross 50 wickets for SRH.
7. Chris Gayle doesn’t have a very good record against SRH, especially against seamer Sandeep Sharma. The Indian fast bowler has dismissed the ‘Universe Boss’ four times in eight outings. This is one player battle which everyone would look forward to. Can Gayle get the better of Sandeep Sharma?Published 29 Apr 2019, 12:34 IST