Hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad will once again be banking on its lethal bowling unit to deliver the goods when they take on an unpredictable Kings XI Punjab in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match, in Hyderabad on Friday.
With world’s numero uno bowler Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Thissara Perera and willy leg-spinner Amit Mishra up its rank, the Sunrisers possesses a formidable bowling outfit which has played crucial roles in all their four wins so far in the tournament.
The Sunrisers have had a mixed outing in the ongoing IPL, winning four and losing two games from the six matches.
Bowling, predominantly, has been Sunrisers’ strength and the fact once again came to the fore in their last game against Pune Warriors.
Defending a mediocre target of 120 runs, leg-spinner Mishra produced a stunning performance taking four wickets in five deliveries, including a hat-trick — his third in IPL, to pull off an incredible 11-run victory over Warriors.
Mishra (4/19) took the wickets with his second, fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries off his final over to bowl out Warriors for 108 in 19 overs.
It is just not the ball, Mishra is also delivering for his side with the bat with useful contributions lower down the the order.
However, batting continues to remain a major concern for the Sunrisers.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara looked a pale shadow of himself so far in the tournament and Australian Cameron White has delivered in patches.
With Shikhar Dhawan still out of the reckoning due to a finger injury, Sangakkara, White and big-hitting Perera will have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibilities with the bat.
Hyderabad would also be better off with substantial contributions from Parthiv Patel up the order and D B Ravi Teja.
Kings XI, on the other hand, will be high on confidence following their stunning four-run win over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the last game.
Defending a decent target of 158, Kings XI restricted KKR to 153 for nine despite a 105-run second wicket partnership between Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan.
Manpreet Gony, playing in his first game of the season, made a big impact in the final outcome of the game against KKR.
First he used his long-handle to good effect as his 42 off 18 balls took Kings XI past 150—run mark. And later he removed a set Gambhir to bring the Punjab outfit back in the match.
And come Friday, Kings XI would be hoping to stretch their winning run especially after two back-to-back defeats.
The Adam Gilchrist-led side has won only two matches out of the four they have played so far in the league.
Kings XI began their campaign on a winning note against Pune Warriors but failed to sustain the momentum against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
As far as Kings XI’s bowling is concerned, Praveen Kumar will spearhead the attack with Ryan Harris, Azhar Mahmood and Parvinder Awana in the ranks. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, however, is yet to play to his potential.
With Gilchrist far away from his prime, Kings XI’s batting mainly revolves around David Hussey, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, David Miller and Gurkeerat Singh.
Hussey, Mandeep and Vohra have been the bright spots in Kings XI’s batting line up and expectations would be high from the trio to with continue the good show.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Dale Steyn, Akshat Reddy, Ashish Reddy, DB Ravi Teja, Nathan McCullum, Anand Rajan, Biplab Samantray, Chris Lynn, Darren Sammy, Karan Sharma, Prasant Padmanabhan, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sandeep Tyagi, T Sargunam, Veer Pratap Singh, Ankit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Cameron White, GH Vihari, Thisara Perera, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (capt), Azhar Mahmood, Parvinder Awana, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Sidharth Chitnis, Aniket Choudhury, Manpreet Gony, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Harmeet Singh, Ryan Harris, David Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, Dmitri Mascarenhas, David Miller, Luke Pomersbach, Nitin Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Rajagopal Sathish, Sunny Singh, Paul Valthaty, Manan Vohra.