Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab, Dubai
Pro Tip: Have an extra Kings XI batsman to take advantage of the depleted Sunrisers’ attack.
Our XI: Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Kane Williamson, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan
Substitutes: Sheldon Cottrell, Manish Pandey, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sandeep Sharma
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Player availability: Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a injury in the game against the Chennai Super Kings and has been ruled out of the tournament. Everyone else is available for selection.
Captain: David Warner
Warner got 60 in the Sunrisers’ last game against the Mumbai Indians. In Abu Dhabi against the Kings XI, a fresh pitch and an attack that went wicketless against the Chennai Super Kings should work in Warner’s favour. He had also scored fifties in both games against the Kings XI last season.
Vice-captain: KL Rahul
Rahul has been the most consistent batsman in the tournament so far. Though his strike rate has been poor, the runs have continued to flow. In the absence of Kumar, the Sunrisers’ bowling lacks experience and Rahul should capitalise on that.
Jonny Bairstow: Bairstow has scored two half-centuries so far in this IPL. Though his 144 runs have come at a below-par strike rate of 121, he keeps wickets too, and that acts as a bonus.
Nicholas Pooran: Pooran has discovered his touch after a rather slow start. In the last three matches, he has scored 102 runs at a strike rate of 196.15. He can be a vital cog in the wheel for the Kings XI given his excellent strike rate of 132.98 in the middle overs, especially against spin, when he goes at 138.20.
Rashid Khan: In the last four games, Khan has picked up five wickets at an economy rate of just 4.56. Even with the short boundaries against the Mumbai Indians in Sharjah, he had an economy of 5.50. He looks high on confidence and we are backing him for another match-defining performance.
Ravi Bishnoi: Bishnoi has not picked up too many wickets in the last few games but he is clearly a very capable young bowler, and that economy rate is still under eight an over.
Glenn Maxwell: Consistency has been a problem with Maxwell, but he seems to have found his touch after a few failures. The Kings XI will also use him with the ball for a couple of overs, and that should help.
The Kings XI’s bowling is lacking some bite and they may consider bringing in Mujeeb Ur Rahman for Chris Jordan.
If Rahman plays, replace Bairstow with him and Bishnoi with Manish Pandey. In the powerplay overs in the IPL, Bairstow strikes at just 128.84 against spin, with three dismissals in 52 balls.
T Natarajan seems to have kept the batsmen quiet despite picking up only five wickets in as many games. At a bigger ground though, Sandeep Sharma might be a better wicket-taking option, given he swings the ball upfront and also has more variations. Since 2018 in all T20s, Sharma has a strike rate of 8.75 at the death while Natarajan’s strike rate at the death is 24.
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