The Punjab Kings (PBKS) will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 14 of the IPL 2021 season at Chepauk in Chennai. This will be the first game on this slowish track for KL Rahul and his men this season, while David Warner's Orange Army will play their fourth at the IPL venue.
Both teams are coming off comprehensive losses in their previous games despite having their moments in which they failed to capitalize. PBKS scored a daunting 194-4 in their 20 overs but their bowlers were underwhelming as the Delhi Capitals (DC) coasted home comfortably.
SRH, on the other hand, made wholesale changes to their team against the Mumbai Indians (MI), but failed to change their fortunes as the defending champions handed Warner's men their third defeat in a row.
3 batsmen to watch out for in PBKS vs SRH encounter
The track in Chennai has been two-paced for most games this season. Thus, runs on the board have been of paramount importance. With quite a few star batsmen on both sides, let's have a look at three players who could score big in this encounter.
#3 Jonny Bairstow
In the IPL 2019 season, Jonny Bairstow and David Warner were probably the most destructive opening combination. The duo complemented each other really well as Bairstow's counter-attacking batting helped Warner play the anchor's role and bat deep.
But the balance of the side forced SRH to drop the England star for the backend of the IPL 2020 season. With Wriddhiman Saha doing well at the top, Warner looked to stick with the same combination for starters.
However, after losing the first two games, Bairstow was recalled to the top of the order and that move paid rich dividends. The Englishman hit a brilliant 43 off just 22 balls and took apart the MI bowling attack. He unfortunately got hit-wicket but until he was there at the crease, SRH looked to be cruising home.
If Bairstow gets off to a start against PBKS, he can be dangerous and may take the game away from them. With the PBKS bowling attack leaking runs at the moment, Bairstow might well be the top-scorer in the upcoming game.
Get the updated list of orange cap holder in IPL 2021 here.
#2 David Warner
SRH's talisman David Warner has been carrying their batting unit on his own for a number of years now. On two out of three occasions already this season, SRH have collapsed following the fall of Warner's wicket.
Despite having a half-century to his name this season, Warner has not been at his best. However, with his team lying rock bottom, now is the time for the SRH skipper to lead by example with the bat.
Warner has done well against the Punjab-based franchise in the past and, having played on this Chennai pitch, he might have a fair idea of how to pace his innings. If the 34-year-old gets going, he will put SRH in a strong position to win the game.
Warner has scored nine consecutive fifties against PBKS and will fancy his chances of going big against his favorite opposition.
#1 KL Rahul
KL Rahul has been an absolute bank of runs ever since he joined the Mohali-based franchise back in 2018. With more than 2000 runs already for PBKS, the skipper will grab all eyeballs whenever he walks out to bat.
In the past season and even of late, Rahul's strike-rate has been a topic that has been talked about a lot. Many believe his 61 runs that came off 51 balls in the last game is what cost them against DC.
However, that innings was on a batting paradise at the Wankhede Stadium. The 29-year-old is a more than a capable player of spin and his ability to anchor the innings will certainly come in handy on a slow Chennai pitch.
If he puts his best foot forward and gets off to a start against SRH, Rahul will back himself to play not only a big innings but also an innings that will win the game for his team.