Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad have won all of the three matches they played so far, and tomorrow they will travel to Mohali to face a team who have not yet lost at their home ground this season.
Two new IPL captains Ravichandran Ashwin and Williamson have been off to flying starts to their campaigns. Sunrisers sit atop the league table with all wins, while Kings XI Punjab are at the third spot with a perfect home record. Another win from this Mohali fixture will put Punjab closer to the top, and that would be very rewarding for a side who were not deemed as favourites before the start of the season.
Chris Gayle, playing his first match of IPL 2018, thrashed Chennai Super Kings attack in the last game. Thanks to his blistering 63, Kings XI registered 197 on the board. However, that might have fallen short, unless Mohit Sharma bowled a good last over. Chennai skipper MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 79 was not enough to cross the mark and Punjab got their second win at home.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, managed a comfortable victory against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens. The home side were contained within a paltry 138, and Williamson scored a fifty to secure the victory with an over to spare.
The home side will continue with KL Rahul and Gayle as their opening partnership. In the middle order, Aaron Finch might have to make way after scoring two golden ducks from two matches. Marcus Stoinis is likely to replace him, as that would provide more bowling options for Ashwin. Axar Patel should also come back to the starting lineup, as Barinder Sran failed to impress in the last match. The team, otherwise, should remain unchanged from the win against Super Kings.
Hyderabad, on the contrary, have found a perfect combination and they need no change to incorporate in the side. With Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan have performed on different occasions and this middle order is probably one of the best in the league. The bowling attack will be spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and boast of players like Rashid Khan and Billy Stanlake. All in all, Sunrisers are looking very good and will be the favourites on Thursday.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (Wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, Siddharth Kaul.
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Photo by AndEggs