Punjab Kings will face off against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 14th match of the Indian Premier League. It will be a battle between the bottom two teams of the league. The IPL has seen some great games already. However, these two sides are yet to gain some momentum and this could be the right fixture for one of them. Whichever team plays good live cricket, should win this match.
KL Rahul is back in the run-getting business and had a good IPL match, the last time he batted. Mayank Agarwal looked superb in the last game as well, followed by Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran. This batting order can get 200 on any pitch on any day. However, they’ve been reaching close to 200 with Gayle and Pooran hardly contributing. It’s Shahrukh Khan and Deepak Hooda who have taken the responsibility and have been firing regularly. Now that Rahul and co have a totally new pitch to play on, a much slower track than Wankhede, they could see Dawid Malan as an option.
Punjab’s bowling in Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Jalaj Saxena/Murugan Ashwin, Deepak Hooda, and Arshdeep Singh has failed to defend a total this year. To address this concern, the management could either look at Chris Jordan coming in or considering a turning pitch – introduce Ravi Bishnoi.
Punjab Kings squad: KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
Desperate for a win, Hyderabad must be really looking for a batsman they can rely on upon beyond David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. Except for these two, no other batter – including Manush Pandey at No 3 – has really fired. While the likes of Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, and Virat Singh come as exciting prospects, they really are having a tough time living by the way Warner and Bairstow start.
Their bowling is a much stable department. Jason Holder, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mujeb, Rashid, and Vijay Shankar are custom-made for the slow Chepauk track.
Sunrisers Hyderabad squad: David Warner (Captain), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Sreevats Goswami (WK), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman
Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have faced each other 16 times in the IPL. Punjab has won five matches while Hyderabad has won on 11 occasions.
Both teams are desperate to win but when it comes to balance, in spite of being placed on the eight rungs, Sunrisers Hyderabad should emerge as winners. They have enough bowling to ground Punjab and Warner-Bairstow at the top are arguably the most dangerous opening pair in the league. If one of them stays back to anchor the innings, Punjab loses.
Date and Time:
April 21, 2021 (Wednesday), 7:30 PM IST
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai