Match Preview – PBKS vs SRH 23rd Match, IPL

Competition details

Punjab Kings (PBKS) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
Mullanpur, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture – Sunrisers could use Kings' death bowling

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings look like two teams who have had similar journeys in this IPL – two wins from four games and sitting in the middle of the points table – but how they got there could not have been more different. While Sunrisers are the second fastest batting team in the Powerplay this IPL (before Monday's CSK vs KKR match) with a run rate of 11.66, the Kings have been the second worst bowlers in death overs (17-20) in this IPL. , runs leaked at 12.65 p.m.

Sunrisers' new batting approach in this IPL was largely due to the success of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma. Abhishek's firepower has taken many by surprise as Head has continued his stellar form since 2023. Not exactly a household name in T20 cricket, he has left many big-hitters with his fours in recent months. Since October 2023, Abhishek has hit 101 fours (47 boundaries and 54 sixes) in 326 balls, adding a boundary every 3.23 balls, second only to Andre Russell's 3.12 runs (at least taking into account the stats for batsmen with these 50 boundaries. Period).

Abhishek's methods may be high risk, but they have brought high reward: he has not been rejected often while going for the big hits. His 101 fours have come in 14 innings in which he averaged 46 while batting in the top three positions. He has scored two centuries at this stage, including ten notches for champions Punjab in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he was the second-highest scorer when he scored 192 runs. He is scoring 217.56 runs in this IPL. While in the last two IPL matches he hit a six almost every 25 balls, in this IPL he is doing it five times as often, hitting a six every five balls.

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He has done it against pace and spin in the powerplay and middle overs. With Head alongside him and batsmen like Heinrich Klaasen and Abdul Samad, the Kings bowlers will have to raise their game considerably. They are hoping international bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel will do well in the death overs.

The Kings will play their next four games at Mullanpur and will be looking to take full advantage of the home comforts to climb up the points table.

Form Guide

B.K.S WLLW (Most Recent First)
SRH WLWL

Group messages and impact player strategy

Punjab Kings
The Kings were without Liam Livingstone for the last game due to injury. His replacement, Sikandar Raza, failed to make an impact with either the bat or the ball against the Gujarat Titans. Livingstone resumed training with the team on Monday but is still being evaluated.

To supplement their impact, the Kings regularly hit Arshdeep Singh for a batsman like Prabsimran Singh or vice versa.

Opportunity XII: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (captain), 2 Jonny Bairstow (weekly), 3 Prabsimran Singh, 4 Sam Curran, 5 Jitesh Sharma (VK), 6 Shashank Singh, 7 Sikandar Raza, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Arshdeep Singh12 Ashutosh Sharma

Sunrisers Hyderabad

D Natarajan returned from injury in his last game, but Mayank Aggarwal missed out due to illness. Although Agarwal trained on Monday, it is not yet clear if he will be fit for Tuesday.

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The Sunrisers have so far kept it straight for their impact player strategy, swapping one of the top-order batsmen—Head, Abhishek or Agarwal—for front-runners like Natarajan or Umran Malik, except for one game that brought in all-rounder Washington. Batting first, Sundar scored 114 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.

Opportunity XII: 1 Abhishek Sharma2 Travis Head, 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Shahbaz Ahmed, 5 Heinrich Klaasen (weekly), 6 Nitish Kumar Reddy/Washington Sundar, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mayank Markande, 11 Jaydev, 12 Umran Malik.

Attention – Pat Cummins and Arshdeep Singh

Pat Cummins was once a powerplay enforcer for Kolkata Knight Riders and he went for a few runs but a change of role in a new team saw his numbers improve. He now bowls more in the middle overs (7-16), conceding 7.75 runs per over, his second-best economy rate since his first IPL season in 2014. Good for Sunrisers.

Arshdeep Singh has made a name for himself in the IPL with his forward swing and his nerveless death bowling. However, his death-bowling exploits have faded in the last two seasons. If he is economical at that stage (7.58) in IPL 2022, he has failed to take more than four wickets. When he took seven wickets in IPL 2023, he leaked 9.50 runs per over. This IPL has been even worse – an economy rate of 11.70 per wicket and 20 balls. Will the real Arshdeep stand up?

Pitch and Conditions – Return to Mullanpur

This is the second IPL match at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium in Mullanpur. First, Kings started on a winning note by chasing down 175 runs against Delhi Capitals. The spinners didn't leak as many runs as the pacers that night, but it's been over two weeks since then and conditions could easily change.

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Important Stats – Cummins vs Kings' top order

  • Cummins has a dominant record against Dhawan and Bairstow. In 25 balls, Cummins dismissed both the batters twice each.
  • Dhawan, who has dismissed Jaidev Unadgat just once in the IPL with a 44-ball 70, will do well to follow him.
  • The Sunrisers have a dominant 14-7 record against the Kings, their best win percentage (66.67%) against any team.
  • Two Sunrisers batsmen have a strike rate of over 200 in 2024 (minimum 100 runs) – Klassen (204.85) and Abhishek (217.56). From Kings, Highest Strike Rate 161.53 – Prabsimran Singh.
  • Quotations

    „We're excited to be back in our home crowd and can't wait to meet everyone who comes out to cheer us on at the stadium.”
    Punjab Kings Captain Shikhar Dhawan People in Mullanpur are excited about the support

    „You have to use variations in T20s, you have to use everything you have, not just slow bouncers, you have to bowl wide, straight leg, that's what keeps the batsmen guessing. As a bowler, you have to be unpredictable with your lines and pace.”
    Experienced Jaidev Unadgat Despite the new rule of two bouncers per over, Sunrisers Hyderabad have what it takes to win.

    Vishal Dixit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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