Two teams involved in the battle to seal the 4th spot ahead of the IPL 2020 playoffs will clash in the 43rd match of the competition at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Kings XI Punjab have looked a completely different side since the inclusion of Chris Gayle in the playing XI and have registered a hat-trick of wins after spending a major part of IPL 2020 rooted to the bottom of the points table.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have endured a rather inconsistent journey so far in the tournament, and with four wins from 10 matches, David Warner's men are in 5th spot with four games to go.
KXIP's resurgence has been one of the most discussed topics over the past week of the IPL, and considering that they are close to nailing their ideal XI, SRH might be on the back foot ahead of this Punjab v Hyderabad clash.
IPL 2020: KXIP v SRH Match Prediction
At the halfway stage of IPL 2020, KXIP looked down and out, and didn't seem like they would get to a stage from where they can make the playoffs. However, three matches since, KXIP have transformed into world-beaters after beating the top three teams on the IPL 2020 points table - MI, DC and RCB.
SRH, on the other hand, came into their previous encounter against RR on the back of a hat-trick of losses and needed something special to pick up an important win to stay in contention for a position in the top half of the table.
Half-centuries from Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar did bring about a massive 8-wicket win for SRH, but the openers' drop in form and lack of resources in the middle-order will be a major concern for their side.
As for KXIP, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran's ball-striking will be a heartening sign, but none better and more satisfying than Mohammed Shami's recent returns with the ball.
The pacer was at his absolute best against MI and defended a 6-run target against the Rohit Sharma-Quinton de Kock pair, highlighting his class with a set of pin-point yorkers.
With the Ravi Bishnoi-Murugan Ashwin pair also slowly starting to find their groove, SRH might want to stand guard against taking too many risks against the leg-spinners with the lack of quality batting options in their lower middle-order.
Jason Holder's three wickets in the last game might earn him another game if Kane Williamson is still out due to injury, but the onus will remain on Rashid Khan to make inroads into the KXIP batting unit.
The last time these two sides met, Rashid's magical figures of 3/12 was the highlight as Pooran's half-century went in vain. But today, with plenty on the line, the in-form KXIP unit may be well advised to play out the Afghanistan star's threat and take on the other bowlers instead.
Prediction: KXIP to win today.Published 24 Oct 2020, 16:52 IST