Kings XI’s Batting Might vs SRH’s Bowling Strength
Kings XI Punjab have won two matches in Mohali so far this season, the second one a hard-fought victory where a vintage Dhoni gave them a scare and almost took CSK home, but the bowlers responded well and kept them just under the required target.
Kings XI have been a batting dependent team so far this tournament with their batsmen going all guns blazing right from the word go. The in-form KL Rahul and Karun Nair would want to continue their good run. The comeback of the Universal Boss Christopher Henry Gayle is another boost to the batting lineup. He can tear apart any opposition on his day. The only worry for Kings XI will be in the failures of Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh. While Finch has got out to Golden ducks in both the previous matches, fishing outside the line of stumps offering no footwork, Yuvraj has struggled against genuine pace with the bowlers typically keeping the length short. Kings XI might give them an extended run or have backup options in Stoinis, Miller, and Tiwary if they need a replacement.
The bowling has also responded well to the challenge, chipping in with partnership breaking wickets here and there. Ashwin has captained the side well, rotating his bowlers effectively and stemming the flow of runs in the middle overs.
SRH, who came out the auction with a bowling heavy line up has shown on numerous occasions why they are one of the best bowling units this season. With Bhuvi coming back from injury further fuelling their power, the likes of Billy Stanlake, Sidharth Kaul, the ever so stingy Rashid Khan and Shakib have had good outings. The batting might be a bit of a concern for SRH with the middle order faltering on a couple of occasions. Saha, Manish Pandey, and Williamson would be itching to get some big scores and live up to their price tags.
What to expect: The last match played here saw both teams scoring close to 200 runs, and with the pitch expected to remain dry, another big scoring game is on the cards.
Watch out for: The two Afghan spinners – Both the spinners Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan have come to the party with important wickets and have proved that there is immense talent outside the mainstay cricketing bastions. With both going at under 6 runs an over so far, it will be interesting to see how the batsmen play the spinners.
Bhuvi vs Gayle – Gayle has been Bhuvi’s bunny in international matches and on numerous instances in the IPL. SRH might want to get his wicket early with the swinging ball and not allow him to settle down.
Kings XI Punjab
With Axar Patel sidelined with a thigh injury, Barinder Sran might get an extended run as Ashwin used Yuvi as his 6th bowler in the last match. It will be interesting to see if the thinktank persist with Finch and Yuvraj or bring in Stoinis and Tiwary.
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch/Marcus Stoinis, Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
SRH wouldn’t want to make any new changes to the team that has found its balance. They are likely to file an unchanged XI.
Wriddhiman Saha, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake.