Among a bunch of teams with six points each, both SRH and PBKS will do everything they can to grab the two crucial points to move forward in the race for playoffs.
Sunrisers started their campaign with two defeats, but have come back with three straight wins – against Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans and Kolkata Knight Riders – and are looking good for more, following the trend of their improving performances.
Punjab Kings had a morale-boosting 12-run victory over Mumbai Indians on their last outing and the Sunrisers would be confident that the third-placed Mayank Agarwal-led side would be a tough team to beat.
All three victories for the Sunrisers came while hunting and they have found a new hero each time.
Openers Abhishek Sharma and skipper Kane Williamson, after playing match winning knocks against CSK and Gujarat Titans respectively, had a bust against KKR.
But with a wide range of shots at his disposal, left-handed Sharma would like to get off to an aggressive start.
After the start, Rahul Tripathi got his moment of glory against KKR when he hit a 37-ball 71 and ditto for Aiden Markaram, whose 36-ball unbeaten 68 helped the team cross the line.
With the reckless Nicholos Pooran, who can be brash at full throttle, in their ranks, the Sunrisers can set up or chase a large total. Rahul, Pooran and Markaram will have to take responsibility again in the middle order.
But they face a strong and varied attack in Punjab, led by South African speed demon Kagiso Rabada, who was right about the money.
However, Rabad would need support from Vaibhav Arora, who bled 43 runs against Mumbai Indians, and the rapidly improving Arshdeep Singh.
The weakest link in the Punjab attack is likely spinner Rahul Chahar, who was attacked in the final game where he leaked 44 runs.
Chahar will have to step up and deliver as SRH’s batters will be watching him.
The Sunrisers pacers showed in their previous competition why they were among the best in the business. Marco Jansen, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umran Malik shared seven wickets among them against KKR, dealing the bulk of the damage.
With his angles and variations, Jansen proves to be the opponents’ nightmare, while Yorker specialist Natarajan and tempo sensation Malik along with senior player Bhuvneshwar Kumar have contributed with crucial wickets.
In the absence of Washington Sundar, left-armer Jagadeesha Suchith did quite well against KKR and he may keep his place.
For Punjab, the biggest development is that the flamboyant opener Shikhar Dhawan is back between the runs.
Dhawan, who crushed 70 against MI, and Mayank Agarwal will have to give the squad another solid start.
The middle class has hard hitters in Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith, and one of the batters will have to take responsibility if the top class falters.
Since it’s an afternoon game, dew wouldn’t play a part, but an intriguing battle awaits.
The teams (of):
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (Captain), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholos Pooran, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Vishnu Vinod, Glenn Phillips, R Samarth, Shashank Singh, Washington Sundar, Romario Shepherd, Marco Jansen, J Suchith , Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Saurabh Tiwary, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik, T Natarajan.
The match starts at 3:30 PM.
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