Sunrisers Hyderabad was in full form by losing just one game before they encountered Mumbai Indians at Hyderabad and bowled out for 96 and faced a drastic defeat a couple of days ago. They need to face another ordeal today against another power-packed team, Kings XI Punjab, to continue their dominance. Alzarri Joseph picked 6 wickets by conceding just 12 runs to break many IPL records and collapse the hosts at 96.
Kings XI Punjab was also down due to two consequent losses, especially the humiliating loss in the hands of Chennai Super Kings though they dominated the latter in the first and second halves to the maximum level and finally lost the game by 23 runs despite the decent stand between Sarfaraaz Khan and KL Rahul.
Though Punjab lost two wickets very early, Sarfaraz Khan and Lokesh Rahul added a 110-run stand for the third wicket. But by the majestic performance of Harbhajan Singh, Punjab lost the game by 23 runs.
The absence of the skipper Kane Williamson and fragile middle order once again came into light when Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to chase the target of 137 runs on their home ground. The Hyderabad team is in a tough situation to choose one among skipper Kane Williamson and Mohammed Nabi owing to the 4 overseas players limit.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are the crucial players to watch for from Hyderabad squad and on the other hand, the bounce back performances by KL Rahul act as boosters for the confidence levels of Punjab team. Though Chris Gayle did not seem effective since a couple of games, he is focusing on the world cup season and wants to keep on his good form.
Out of 12 games, KXIP won just 3games and Sunrisers Hyderabad won 9 games. On the other hand, at Mohali, Hyderabad won just one game and Punjab won four games off 5 head to head fixtures. The fight between Chris Gayle and Sandeep Sharma is the crucial one to watch out for in this game.
Chris Gayle slammed Rashid Khan by 43 runs at strike rate above 233 with two sixes in their previous encounter
Kings XI Punjab
Ravichandran Ashwin(captain), KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, David Miller, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, and Mohammed Shami.
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Maneesh Pandey, Yousuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar..