Kings XI have been the team to beat this season. Only two teams have managed it and Hyderabad are desperate to become the third when the two teams clash on Wednesday.
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
Date: Wednesday, May 14
Start time: 11:30 a.m. BST/4 p.m. local time
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE), SkyTV (New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omni (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan) and Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: Hot as ever in Hyderabad on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather. It's a day game, so the players will get the worst of the heat. Temperatures will get up to 38 degrees Celsius.
The last time the Kings XI Punjab and Hyderabad played each other, the Sunrisers were hammered by 72 runs. It was early days in the tournament, but it was a mark of Punjab's dominance that was to come. They have gone on to be one of the most impressive sides of this year’s tournament.
For Hyderabad, the story has been somewhat different. They have played nine and lost five, most recently being outplayed by fellow strugglers Mumbai Indians. Punjab's second loss came in their last outing, which is not good news for Hyderabad. Kings XI will come out all guns blazing to bounce back from a disappointing loss.
For Hyderabad the biggest challenge will be to subdue the blazing duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. The pair have been in sensational batting form for Punjab, having scored nearly 800 runs between them.
Hyderabad do have the bowlers who can do that. Dale Steyn, Moises Henriques and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been solid with the ball. Kumar, in particular, has been a superb asset.
He has been able to swing the ball both ways in all conditions and has earned his rewards. With 17 wickets at an average of just 11.41, the young Indian bowler has another chance to prove himself against Punjab’s fire power.
Punjab do not need to win. Their playoff position is all but secured. Hyderabad, though, are hovering on eight points after nine games. A win would boost their chances of making the playoffs, but it will take a special team effort to get it.
Bhuvneswar Kumar is a fantastic young bowling talent. His stats speak for themselves, but it's his control and his ability to put pressure on batsmen that will be key for the Sunrisers. Keeping David Miller and Glenn Maxwell quiet will go a long way in notching up a win. Since the big-hitting pair are middle order batsmen and Kumar mostly opens the bowling, using him well is another key part in engineering a win.
Kings XI Punjab
Sandeep Sharma has been fantastic with the ball for Kings XI Punjab. He's picked up 13 wickets—more than any other Kings XI bowler—at an average of just 14.23. Considering the Sunrisers' batting line-up can be their downfall, especially in the middle order, Sharma's bowling will be key.
Shikhar Dhawan (C), Dale Steyn, David Warner, Darren Sammy, Amit Mishra, Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Brendan Taylor, Moises Henriques, Venugopala Rao, Jason Holder, S Aniruddha, Manprit Juneja, K L Rahul, Amit Paunikar, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Ashish Reddy, Chama Milind, Parvez Rasool, Prashanth Parameswaran and Karn Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab
George Bailey (captain), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhaman Saha, Thisara Perera, Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Akshar Patel, Beuran Hendricks, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Laxmipathy Balaji, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mandeep Singh.
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