Smarting from back-to-back defeats, Sunrisers Hyderabad will have a lot to ponder, especially addressing their batting frailties, when they take on a high-flying Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League in Hyderabad on Sunday. For a team that finished at the eighth spot in the last two editions, SRH would have hoped for a better start to the season but they ended up suffering two crushing defeats at the hands of Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants respectively. A poor show with the bat despite some exciting players in the line-up is the prime reason behind their failure. Sunrisers’ struggles to build partnership saw them score 131 and 121 in their two matches so far.
Losing wickets in a heap has proved to be their bane as they failed to get any momentum. If SRH was 30 for 2 in the powerplay in the first game, they managed 43 for one against LSG, only to fritter it away, slipping to 55 for 4 in nine overs.
In the top-order, SRH tried the wicketkeeper Anmolpreet Singh as an opener instead of Abhishek Sharma in their last match and he looked promising, but Mayank Aggarwal and Rahul Tripathi have been inconsistent.
In fact, it took two cameos from abdul samad to take SRH to a decent total in the two matches. With big-hitting Heinrich Klaasen waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen what combination they go for to prop up the batting.
Afghan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi has been most consistent for them but to be fair, the bowlers didn’t have enough total to defend, something which SRH will have to fix at the earliest.
Punjab, on the other hand, are soaring high after two comprehensive wins.
If Kolkata Knight Riders were beaten by seven runs via DLS at Mohali, Rajasthan were crushed by five runs in Guwahati as Punjab produced a fine display of their bowling and batting prowess.
Captained by the experienced and calm Shikhar DhawanPBKS rode on their superior batting, led by their Indian players, to put up 190-plus scores and then defended the totals with Arshdeep Singh producing the goods in the two matches.
Dhawan has led from the front with two fifties, while Prabhsimran Singh and B Rajapaksa raised their hands when needed as the top order has looked solid.
Among foreign recruits, Nathan Ellis was sensational against RR in the last match but pace bowling all-rounder Sam Curran — the most expensive buy ever in IPL history at Rs 18.50 crore — has so far leaked a lot of runs.
However, on paper PBKS have the edge and it will take a special effort from SRH to outwit them at their own den.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Bhuvneshwar KumarAbdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Anmolpreet Singh, Harry Brook, Mayank DagarFazalhaq Farooqi, Akeal Hosein, Karthik TyagiHeinrich Klaasen, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Glen Phillips, Adil Rashid, sanveer singhRahul Tripathi Umran Malik, Vivrant Sharma, Samarth Vyas, Washington Sundar, Upendra Yadav,
Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Raj Bawa, Rahul ChaharSam Curran Rishi DhawanNathan Ellis Harpreet Brar, Harpreet Singh, Vidwath Kaverappa, Liam Livingstone, Mohit RatheePrabhsimran Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Bhanuka RajapaksaShahrukh Khan Jitesh Sharma, Shivam SinghMatthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Atharva Taide,
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