The sands of time are moving a little too quickly for comfort for both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings, whose playoff hopes lie on a knife’s edge. The Kings can reach a maximum of 16 points if they win all their matches from here on, while Sunrisers can only get to 14 if they win all their remaining six matches. The teams are occupying the last two spots in the points table and one wrong step can spell doom.
Punjab Kings,who have made it a habit to lose games from winning positions, there were plenty of things that they did right in the last game and they’ll only be hoping that they don’t run out of fuel again.
The Kings will be playing their first game in Sharjah, where they have won two out of the three games they played at this venue last year. PBKS have enjoyed the small boundaries in this ground of the Northern Emirates, with as many as five half-centuries and a century among Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the three games in 2021.
When: SRH vs PBKS, September 25, 2021, 19:30 IST
Where: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Head To Head: Sunrisers have a clear advantage over the Punjab team, having won 12 times and lost only 5 games. Sunrisers have also won two of their last three matches against the Kings – including earlier this year at Chepauk where the Hyderabad team restricted the Rahul-led side to 120 before chasing it down in the penultimate over.
Injured/Unavailable: The Kings do not have any current injury or availability issues in their line-up.
Tactics & Matchups: Chris Jordan and Nathan Ellis are among the overseas options who could replace Adil Rashid as the England legspinner had an expensive start to his IPL journey. One of two Indian legspinners in the squad – Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin – could make the team, possibly in place of Ishan Porel. Bishnoi has been successful against Warner, dismissing him twice in four balls last season. Jordan, meanwhile, bagged the Player of the Match award for his 3-17 last year in Dubai, with the England all-rounder being instrumental in containing Sunrisers middle-order.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Chris Jordan, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi.
Positive Point for the Kings:
Arshdeep Singh has had success in all three phases in IPL 2021 and is Kings’ leading wicket-taker this season. He has picked up six wickets in overs 1-6, three wickets in overs 7-15 and five in overs 16-20.