Among a bunch of teams on six points each, both SRH and PBKS will go all out to snap the two crucial points to nose ahead in the race for play-offs.
Sunrisers began their campaign with two defeats but bounced back with three successive wins — against Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans and Kolkata Knight Riders — and look good for more, going by the trend of their improving performance.
Hat-trick of wins, hat-trick of cake smashes 😅🎂#SRHvKKR #OrangeArmy #ReadyToRise #TATAIPL https://t.co/2HRBgg7nV4
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) 1650091506000
Punjab Kings had a morale-boosting 12-run win over Mumbai Indians in their last outing and the Sunrisers would certainly know that the Mayank Agarwal-led side, who are in the third spot, would be a tough team to beat.
All the three wins for the Sunrisers came while chasing and they have found a new hero each time.
Openers Abhishek Sharma and skipper Kane Williamson, after playing match-winning knocks against CSK and Gujarat Titans respectively, had a failure against KKR.
But with a wide range of shots at his disposal, left-handed Sharma would be aiming to give an aggressive start.
After getting the starts, Rahul Tripathi’s moment of glory came against KKR when he struck a 37-ball 71 and ditto for Aiden Markaram, whose 36-ball unbeaten 68 helped the team go over the line.
With the swashbuckling Nicholos Pooran, who can be brutal when in full flow, in their ranks, the Sunrisers can set or chase down a big total. Rahul, Pooran and Markaram will have to once again shoulder responsibility in the middle-order.
An intimidating spell, which deserved the #Riser of the Day award. 👏Well done, Umran Malik 🧡#SRHvKKR… https://t.co/3SGCsrs6xt
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) 1650088913000
But they are up against a strong and varied Punjab attack led by South African speedster Kagiso Rabada, who has been right on the money.
Rabada would, however, need support from Vaibhav Arora, who bled 43 runs against Mumbai Indians, and the fast improving Arshdeep Singh.
The weakest link in the Punjab attack is probably spinner Rahul Chahar, who was taken to task in the last game, where he leaked 44 runs.
Chahar will have to step up and deliver as the SRH batters will be looking to target him.
The Sunrisers pacers showed why they were among the best in the business in their previous match. Marco Jansen, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umran Malik shared seven wickets among them against KKR and did the bulk of damage.
With his angles and variations, Jansen is proving to be the opposition batters’ nightmare while yorker specialist Natarajan and pace sensation Malik along with senior player Bhuvneshwar Kumar have contributed with crucial wickets.
In the absence of Washington Sundar, left-armer Jagadeesha Suchith did pretty well against KKR and he may retain his place.
For Punjab, the biggest development is that the flamboyant opener Shikhar Dhawan is back among the runs.
Dhawan, who smashed 70 against MI, and Mayank Agarwal will have to once again give the side a solid start.
Amazing Arsh at the death! 🎯 👌#SaddaPunjab #IPL2022 #PunjabKings #ਸਾਡਾਪੰਜਾਬ @arshdeepsinghh https://t.co/QPtREWf0AK
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) 1650018600000
The middle-order has hard-hitters in Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith, and one of the batters will need to take responsibility if the top-order falters.
Being an afternoon game, dew would not be a factor but an intriguing battle is in store.
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholos Pooran, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Vishnu Vinod, Glenn Phillips, R Samarth, Shashank Singh, Washington Sundar, Romario Shepherd, Marco Jansen, J Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Saurabh Tiwary, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik, T Natarajan