Kings XI Punjab have recorded three successive victories on the bounce to stay in the hunt for a playoffs spot in IPL 2020. Kings XI Punjab scraped through against Mumbai Indians but convincingly beat Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals as captain KL Rahul spearheaded all those victories. Hence, they will continue the same when facing SunRisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
Kings XI Punjab suffered a crushing loss to SunRisers Hyderabad when they met the last time. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow built an explosive 160-run opening stand that pushed the Kings XI Punjab out of the game. Though the KXIP bowlers pulled things back to restrict them to 200, it proved too much to chase despite Nicholas Pooran’s pyrotechnics. Nevertheless, they will leave no stone unturned this time.
We take a look at Kings XI Punjab’s predicted XI ahead of the IPL 2020 game against SunRisers Hyderabad:
KL Rahul (c&wk):
With 540 runs so far, KL Rahul is the highest run-getter in IPL 2020 by a country mile. So far, the right-handed batsman has six fifties and a solitary century when he struck 132 off 69 deliveries against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Hence, the Kings XI Punjab skipper will have to bear the responsibility of getting his team off to a good start.
Mayank Agarwal is third on the list for the highest run-getters, having clattered 398 runs in ten games at 39.80 and striking at 155. Mayank Agarwal suffered an unfortunate run-out against Delhi Capitals and seemed to have injured his hamstring in the process. However, he is likely to play the crucial match against SRH.
Chris Gayle has so far played three matches for the Kings XI Punjab, scoring a fifty and has played his role to great effect. Chris Gayle hammered 29 off 13 balls, taking Delhi Capitals’ seamer Tushar Deshpande to the cleaners. The southpaw’s brief fireworks gave his side the much-needed impetus after KL Rahul’s knock and will hope to do the same against SRH.
Nicholas Pooran played a game-changing knock against Delhi Capitals, hammering 53 off 28 deliveries to turn the game on its head. Nicholas Pooran took responsibility after the loss of Mayank Agarwal and seemed as if his side could lose from being in a winning position. Unfortunately, Pooran could not finish the game as Kagiso Rabada claimed his wicket.
Glenn Maxwell did not look at his best; however, chipped in with a handy knock of 32 off 24 deliveries against Delhi Capitals. Glenn Maxwell scored three boundaries in his 24-ball exploit as he shepherded the innings calmly after Nicholas Pooran perished. However, Maxwell was the second wicket of Kagiso Rabada that night. The 32-year old also removed Rishabh Pant with his off-spin, giving away 31 runs in four overs.
Deepak Hooda has been handling the pressure moments with a cool head in the last two games, steering the team close to victory by milking the singles and scoring the timely boundaries. The right-handed batsman finished unbeaten on 15 off 22 deliveries as Kings XI Punjab won by five wickets.
James Neesham replaced Chris Jordan for the game against Delhi Capitals and played reasonably well too. James Neesham claimed the first wicket of Prithvi Shaw in two overs followed by hitting the winning runs for Kings XI Punjab, which was a slog over deep midwicket for a six. Hence, the all-rounder is likely to retain his spot.
Murugan Ashwin claimed the crucial wicket of Shreyas Iyer when it looked like the partnership between him and Shikhar Dhawan will bat Kings XI Punjab out of the game. In four overs, he only went for 33 runs and three boundaries. Hence, Ashwin will retain his spot for the match against SRH.
The match against Delhi Capitals was one of those when Ravi Bishnoi could not account for a wicket apart from not bowling his full quota. The young leg-spinner delivered only three overs, going for 24 runs, leaking three boundaries. Bishnoi bowled brilliantly against SunRisers Hyderabad the last time, dismissing David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.
With 15 wickets so far in IPL 2020, Mohammed Shami is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers against Delhi Capitals, removing Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer and leaking only 28 runs off his quota. Shami also unleashed a barrage of yorkers in the death overs that controlled the flow of runs significantly.
Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh was the most expensive bowler against Delhi Capitals, leaking 30 runs in three overs. However, Arshdeep Singh’s opening spells have been quite threatening; hence, he will fancy his chances against David Warner, who struggles a bit against swing bowling.