SRH vs PBKS IPL 2021 Preview: 25th Sept - Jittery Punjab aim to do away with chokers tag against Warner's men
The number of close losses Punjab have suffered are enough to tank their self confidence.
Punjab, and close defeats
Certainly, it was Punjab's match to lose against RR with 10 required off the last 15 deliveries and the only question was whether the team would finish it in the 18th, the 19th or the 20th over.
Both Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran were looking like a million dollars and batting at a good strike rate. The platform had already been laid by the ever consistent KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal who added 128 runs for the opening partnership once again.
A familiar pattern followed. Once Rahul was dismissed on the last ball of the 12th over, Agarwal followed suit 7 balls later. Unlike in the past, there was no collapse this time around.
Tough pill to swallow
Markram and Pooran were all set to take Punjab home until the ball suddenly went soft or both the batters lost their timing together as they were unable to put away some dollies from Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman and Kartik Tyagi.
Due to poor luck and some senseless batting, Punjab failed to make the four runs required in the last over and ended up losing the match by two runs.
Both Anil Kumble and KL Rahul termed the defeat a tough pill to swallow and if Punjab do not come hard in this game, one cannot see how they will go on to qualify for the playoffs this time around.
SRH hit rock-bottom
Bottom placed Sunrisers Hyderabad have a lot of work to do in the second phase of IPL 2021. The team is placed at the 8th spot with just one victory from 8 matches. It might not be impossible yet but it is certainly improbable for Hyderabad to make it to the playoffs this season.
The uncertainty surrounding David Warner and captaincy has not helped. In the absence of Jonny Bairstow, Warner has returned to the top of the order alongside Wriddhiman Saha but the southpaw will need big runs to ensure retention for the next season.
With T Natarajan having tested positive for COVID-19 and Vijay Shankar also ruled out because of being a close contact, the onus will be on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan to produce the goods with the ball.
Rashid will need to work his magic if SRH have to harbour any hopes of qualification.
Predicted playing XIs
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Adil Rashid, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel
Sunrisers Hyderabad - David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (c), Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed
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