IPL 2020 Match 43 Preview: KXIP vs SRH - Resurgent Punjab out to spoil Hyderabad's plans
After Punjab's narrow defeat to Kolkata, there seemed little hope for the franchise but they bounced back in style, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals - the three top-ranked franchises in back-to-back matches.
Punjab climb upwards
Punjab, who were looking certain to end with the wooden spoon a few days ago, have now raised hopes of even qualifying for the playoffs. The team is placed at the sixth pot in the IPL 2020 points table with 4 wins and 6 losses from 10 games and is tied at 8 points with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals.
With Royals having played 11 matches, Punjab's direct competition is with SRH and if KKR slip any further, Punjab are all geared up to squeeze into the top 4.
KXIP finally zero in on best XI
Chris Gayle's inclusion has brought a breath of fresh air in the Punjab camp. With KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal playing the best cricket they have in a while, Chris Gayle at number three and Nicholas Pooran also firing in the middle order, Punjab suddenly look like a different team altogether.
Glenn Maxwell has not been able to explode with the bat but his ability to provide the team with consistent overs in the powerplay has meant that has retained his spot.
Shami leading the pack
In the bowling line-up, Mohammad Shami has been the leader of the pack with Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi playing their roles well. Jimmy Neesham replaced Chris Jordan in the last match and did a fine job.
Murugan Ashwin has also kept the runs dry and provided the team with wickets. There is no reason for Punjab to make any changes.
SRH back to winning ways
Sunrisers Hyderabad, too, after suffering three back-to-back losses turned the tide in the last game with an impressive 8-wicket victory against Rajasthan Royals.
With Jason Holder coming into the playing XI in place of the injured Kane Williamson, Hyderabad are looking a lot more settled. Vijay Shankar has also stepped up and has played a crucial all-round role for the team in the last couple of games.
Hyderabad gain confidence with clinical chase
After David Warner and Jonny Bairstow failed in the match against Rajasthan, the Hyderabad middle order finally stepped up. Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar joined hands for an unbeaten 140-run partnership that took the team home comfortably with almost two overs to spare.
After a long wait, Pandey realised his potential with an unbeaten knock of 83 off just 37 balls at the strike rate of over 175. Shankar played as a foil to him with a run-a-ball half-century.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): KL Rahul(c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, James Neesham, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): David Warner(c), Jonny Bairstow(wk), Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan
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