Date: 21 April 2021
Time: 3:30 pm (IST)
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
It’s the second double header of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it will be the Punjab Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad who will play the first of the two matches this Wednesday. Both the teams would be pretty disappointed with the way they have performed so far in IPL 2021. While Punjab at least have a win to their credit in their three matches, that too coming off the last ball, Hyderabad have got off to their worst start in the tournament losing all their three matches. With momentum being a key factor moving forward in the competition, the teams would be keen on getting back on the winning track. The Sunrisers have always been the dark horse but now with a rebranded identity, Punjab would want to at least secure a place for the playoffs before thinking of their subsequent plans. Ingredients of a spectacular clash are present but will it all boil down to a thriller or will it be an easy win for one over the other? We shall find out in this 3:30 pm (IST) start in Chennai.
Bowling has been their major area of concern in the first three matches. While they struggled to defend 221 in the first match, they failed to do so when they had set a total of 195. In fact, Delhi made a mockery of their total, chasing it down in the 19th over. The duo of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith are young and inexperienced and would take their time to come up with a plan for Indian pitches. Perhaps, they can give Meredith a break who went over 15 an over, add an overseas batter or all-rounder and get a frontline spinner in Ravi Bishnoi and M Aswhin instead of overs from Deepak Hooda and Jalaj Saxena.
The Sunrisers made as many four changes to their XI for their last match and yet could find a win. However, the experienced Kedar Jadhav deserves a call-up after their poor start to the tournament. Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is an automated selection at this stage, given the middle-order struggle they are going through and his fitness would be a key factor for the Orange Army. Natarajan, if fit, should also walk back into the XI but has been diagnosed with a knee niggle and may not be risked for this match.
Head to Head:
Matches played: 16
Punjab Kings: 5
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 11
Mayank Agarwal showed what he is capable of when he gets going. A fine innings against Delhi would set him up nicely for this game against Hyderabad. In addition, when Agarwal gets going, he also allows KL Rahul to stick to his plan of trying to bat through the innings. He would be the key wicket, Hyderabad would be aiming to get inside the first six overs.
The England batsman was looking in sublime form in his previous innings but was out hit wicket. He would surely be kicking himself for the manner of his dismissal and would look to claim redemption in this match after his dismissal which turned the match in opposition’s favour. Another player to watch out for in this contest.
The other overseas pick for SRH is Rashid Khan who has been absolutely incredible with the ball in hand. He has even gone on record saying that he has worked on his batting and can play the big shots lower down the order if needed. However, his main role would be to claim the crucial wickets of the opposition and break the run-flow of their innings.
Probable Playing XI
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, M Ashwin/R Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed