KXIP vs SRH
April 08, 8.00PM IST
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Both Punjab and SRH suffered losses in their last encounter – the home team going down to CSK, while the Orange Army were all out for 96 against Mumbai Indians. However, they are the in-form team and performed reasonably well before the defeat in their respective matches. While their top-order packs a punch, with KXIP having Gayle and KL Rahul, and SRH possessing Bairstow and Warner, Punjab’s middle-order is in better shape, while Hyderabad’s bowling is more reliable.
Hence, on a belter of a track, there will be very little to choose from between the two sides. As far as the playing 11 goes, Moises Henriques has joined the Punjab camp, and he can replace Tye or Curran, while SRH can ring in a few changes. If Kane is fit, he might be slotted in for Nabi, though it will be unfair on the Afghan player, while either one of Hooda, Pathan or Pandey might make way for Bhui or Abhishek Sharma.
KXIP Predicted XI
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Sam Curran, Mandeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye/Henriques
SRH Predicted XI
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan/ Abhishek Sharma, Mohammad Nabi/Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul
Bairstow has been a bigger impact-player in the IPL 2019, whereas KL Rahul has struggled on occasions against quality players. With SRH having a number of experienced bowlers in their ranks, the Indian could find it tough. Also, Bairstow comes cheaper, which then allows me to pick both warner and Gayle in my side.
Warner has looked like a man on a mission ever since he has returned from his ban. He is the leading run-scorer in the IPL and would want to score many more before he has to leave for the World Cup. Chris Gayle has not yet flourished, but he is the kind of player who will make you regret not picking him on hos day. He can fire against any opposition, on any deck, which makes ignoring him tough. David Miller and Sarfaraz have led the charge for KXIP in the middle overs, and if there is an early loss of a wicket, they can be counted upon to guide the team to safety.
R Ashwin is slowly but surely finding his straps, while Vijay Shankar’s rise with the bat has been one of the highlights of this season. The reason I have ignored Curran is that he might not get a chance with the bat – he opened in Gayle’s absence a few matches away – but with the West Indian back, there might not be many opportunities. Also, the duo of Warner and Bairstow can rip him apart in the first six overs, which makes him a risky pick.
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Murugan Ashwin might find the going easy against a struggling SRH middle-order, while the trio of Sandeep, Rashid and Kaul have kept things tight. Though the Afghan has not been among the wickets, he is too good a player to miss out for long, while the Indian pacers have time and again showed their mettle in the IPL.
Captain and Vice-captain: Bairstow, Gayle