Nearly counting down for the play-off berth, the bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking to play party-poopers when they take on the equally struggling Punjab Kings in the IPL’s Lagarders battle here on Saturday.
The Sunrisers suffered their seventh defeat on Wednesday.
Punjab, on the other hand, have found a way out of the jaws of victory over the Rajasthan Royals and are desperate to find an answer to their problems after finishing seventh with six points from nine matches.
The Kings were well on their way to victory in their first IPL game in the UAE leg before Karthik Tyagi bowled in the last over. They lost two wickets and scored just one run, but needed four runs to win over Rajasthan.
Despite being filled with incredible Indian and foreign talent, the Punjab Kings regularly confuse games and captain KL Rahul will have to address their instability.
With frequent changes of captains and coaches over the last 14 seasons, there is no consistency in the Punjab Kings.
Their playing XI has also undergone a number of changes, which has drawn sharp criticism from former team mentor Virender Sehwag.
In batting, Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are the most dominant opening duo in the IPL.
Even in the last game, they scored 120 in 11.5 overs, but none of them fell behind to get the job done.
Chris Gayle was able to destroy any attack even at the age of 41, but kept him away in the final game.
In the middle order, Nicholas Pooran, who made a terrific ing ting in the first over, looked good in the final game before losing his bearings in the final over despite Aiden Markram being left alone in the final game.
In the bowling department, Mohammad Shami was their main bowler and he did well to bring things back against RR.
Young Arshadeep Singh also came back with five wickets in the last game when he and Shami dismissed RR for 185.
However, the Punjab spinners, especially England player Adil Rashid have been disappointed and they need to increase their game further in the next few weeks.
For the Sunrisers, enjoy the rest of the game and finish high.
With Johnny Bairstow, the leading run-getter of their season, stepping down and Australian opener David Warner in poor form, SRH has been tough against Delhi.
Even the likes of Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Kedar Jadhav and Abdul Samad were able to score just 134 runs for SRH in their last game.
Their bowling spin sensation is very much dependent on Rashid Khan and it is important that they like Khalil Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jason Holder give a strong performance to give some respect to the team campaign.
Kings of Punjab: KL Rahul (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Arshadeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Shahrukh Khan, Mohammad Shami, Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid, Murugan Ashwin, Harpreet Brar, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan, Aiden Markram Singh, Darshan, , Ravi Bishnoi, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), David Warner, Manish Pandey, Sherfen Rutherford, Wriddhiman Saha, Shrivats Goswami, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Khalil Ahmed, T, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abdul Samad, J Suchit, Jason Holder, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Jason Roy.
Beginning of March: 7:30 p.m.