Sunrisers eager to bounce back

Smarting from their loss to Chennai, Hyderabad outfit takes on Punjab

Sunrisers eager to bounce back

Sunrisers Hyderabad will aim to pick up pieces after their drubbing in the hands of Chennai Super Kings as they aim to get past Kings XI Punjab in a IPL encounter, here on Saturday. 

On paper, Sunrisers are favourites having won seven out of their 12 games and are currently at the fifth spot — a notch above Kings XI who have got 10 points.

A win on Saturday will certainly help the Hyderabad franchise in their bid to make it to the knock-out stages of the competition.

Kings XI has to win their remaining four games to give themselves even a glimmer of hope for surviving in the competition but Sunrisers also can’t afford a slip-up after their 77-run defeat against the title favourites.

Sunrisers had an unbeaten run at home clinching thrilling wins against formidable teams such as Mumbai Indians and Royals Challengers Bangalore until CSK buried them under a mountain of runs in their last match.

The lethal bowling attack of Sunrisers comprising the world’s best fast bowler Dale Steyn, India international Ishant Sharma and portly leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who is one of the highest wicket-takers in IPL-VI, besides dependable Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera, would look to exploit the bouncy conditions of the Mohali track.

However, in Thursday’s match against Rajasthan Royals, Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist had found the Mohali track “slow and dry” contrary to its known nature.

Like Punjab, batting has been a major area of concern for the Hyderabad side, though that has shown some improvement after injured Shikhar Dhawan and West Indies captain Darren Sammy joined the team. 

On the other hand, veteran Gilchrist, who had dropped himself after being out-of-form, scored an useful 42 against Rajasthan Royals just the other day.

The problem with the Kings XI team has been their lack of consistency in the batting department, which Gilchrist acknowledges is a serious area of concern.

The batting which comprises players like David Hussey, Shaun Marsh, Mandeep Singh and David Miller has failed to click as a unit, and barring couple of individual performances, has let down the team on most occasions.

*SHIKHAR DHAWAN: The Delhi left-hander can be an explosive batsman at the top and his ability to find gaps is quite astonishing, particularly through off-side. Dhawan is also adept at playing aerial shots and his all-round game will come in handy for Sunrisers.

* DAVID MILLER: In South Africa, Miller has been earmaked for big things in international cricket and he showed a glimpse of his talent while scoring a blazing hundred against RCB. His contribution will be vital for Kings XI to thwart the Sunrisers’ bowling attack.

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