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PBKS vs SRH, IPL 2021: Sunrisers look to end their losing streak

Match Details: Punjab Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (PBKS vs SRH, IPL 2021).

Date: April 20, Wednesday. 

Venue: M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

Both Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad are desperate for wins and would be anxious to register a triumph by hook or by crook in the upcoming matchup in Chennai. 

For Sunrisers Hyderabad, it has been a forgettable start to IPL 2021.  Losing the initial three matches of such a competitive tournament, Sunrisers are at the bottom of the points table with an NRR of -0.483, and few more defeats would severely affect their plans in the latter stages of the tournament when the net run rate becomes a differentiating factor in the race to playoffs. 

Punjab Kings, who changed their name ahead of the auction and even altered their jerseys, have had a disappointing run so far, losing two of their first three matches, with their only victory being the one against Rajasthan Royals that they secured by a whisker. Recently, they suffered a 6-wicket defeat to Delhi Capitals, which witnessed the KL Rahul-led side post a mammoth 196-run target, with fifties from Mayank Agarwal and skipper himself in vain.

Punjab are a seated place above Hyderabad and would look to extend the lead in the points table with a comprehensive win at Chepauk. 

Head to Head in IPL

Hyderabad’s dominance over Punjab can be known from the fact that they’ve won 11 out of 16 matchups to date. However, the situation has been pretty balanced since 2018, with both Punjab and Hyderabad to have won a game each in the league stages. 

Weather Forecast & Pitch Report

Chepauk has recorded only two scores in excess of 180 in the last five matches, with 168 as the average first innings total. It would be safe to say that 170-180 could be a competitive or even a par total on this wicket. It has been a bit difficult for even the best of the teams to bat during the later stages in Chepauk, so likely one can witness the toss-winning team opting to bowl first. 

Player Matchups

David Warner vs Arshdeep Singh

Runs: 32

Balls: 21

Strike rate: 132.38

Dismissals: None

KL Rahul vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Runs: 58

Balls: 49

Strike rate: 116.33

Dismissals: None

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Team News & Probable XI 

Batting hasn’t clicked for the Men in Orange who’ve been dependent on their opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow to get them a win in the last three outings. It’s about time the middle-order takes on the onus of getting those crucial numbers on board.

X Factors 

David Warner: It has been a trying time for Warner both as a batsman and as a captain so far this season, however, one could expect his fortunes to change in the next outing. The southpaw has amassed 906 runs in 19 innings against Punjab, averages a mind-boggling 53.29, with 11 fifty-plus totals and a strike rate of 142.45. 

Rashid Khan: With 16 wickets at an average of 12.44, an economy of 6.22, the Afghani leg-spinner has been a menace to Punjab in the 8 matches he has faced in the fierce T20 tournament. And at Chepauk, where the conditions have favored the spinners, he could be backed to come up with dazzling numbers.

Probable XI 

Jonny Bairstow (wk), David Warner ©,  Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan/Khaleel Ahmed, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Also Read: Punjab vs Hyderabad: A rivalry not to be taken lightly

Punjab Kings’ Team News & Probable XI

Among the batsmen, Nicholas Pooran hasn’t fired to the expectations, which is turning out to be a major concern. In the bowling unit, Mohammed Shami, Jalaj Saxena and Riley Meredith had an expensive outing against Delhi Capitals. If Punjab opts for any changes,  then one might witness Ravi Bishnoi replacing Jalaj Saxena, and pacer Chris Jordan being an ideal replacement to Riley Meredith. 

X Factors 

KL Rahul: For someone who averages a whopping 45.23 and strikes at 130-plus in 75 innings that he has donned the IPL jersey, and is one of the leading run-getters in the tournament since 2018, Rahul becomes a must selection and an ideal pick as a captain or vice-captain in the MPL XI.

Rahul hammered a 91 against Rajasthan, then backed himself to a 51-ball 61 against Delhi. A consistent onslaughter that he is, Rahul averages 42.86 in 8 innings that he has faced Hyderabad, with 3 half-centuries and 79 as his best tally. 

Mayank Agarwal: The right-hander was among the top contenders for the orange cap in the first half of IPL 2020. He is showing similar symptoms this season, with a blistering 69 off 36 deliveries in the last outing against Delhi, a knock that was studded with 7 fours and 4 sixes and offered a mouth-watering start to the Punjab-based franchise.

Mayank can be the aggressive run-getter if Rahul opts for an anchored role on the other end, and with the shots he has in his armory, he could clock another decent tally on the pitches of Chennai. 

Probable XI

KL Rahul (wk & c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Chris Jordan/ Riley Meredith, Ravi Bishnoi /Jalaj Saxena, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami

Captain & Vice-Captain Options

Captain picks: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal

Vice-captain picks: David Warner, Rashid Khan

PBKS vs SRH MPL Fantasy XI 

KL Rahul (c), Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal, David Warner (vc), Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Jhye Richardson

Also Read: KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Can the Knight Riders stop a rejuvenated Super Kings?

V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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