Cricket fans are in for a fascinating IPL contest on Thursday as an upbeat Kings XI Punjab take on title favorites Sunrisers Hyderabad at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The Kings are high on confidence after clinching a nail-biting win against Chennai Super Kings in their last encounter. Kings fended off a determined batting effort from Mahendra Singh Dhoni to win a cliffhanger and more importantly added 2 points to their kitty.
Kings face an uphill task against Sunrisers Hyderabad who haven't tasted defeat in the tournament so far. SRH have looked the strongest of all the teams in the tourney courtesy their lethal bowling attack.
SRH have won all their games at the back of some outstanding bowling spells. Sunrisers' frontline seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and leggie Rashid Khan have managed to scalp wickets on a consistent basis denting the opposition's batting lineups.
Kings Eleven shall hope that their power-packed batting order fires on all cylinders against a potent SRH bowling. KP XI's batting efforts have been spearheaded by KL Rahul who has contributed handsomely with the bat.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been supported extremely well by the likes of Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle. However, Punjab would like to have the good form of Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh back as soon as possible, following their dismal start to the campaign.
KXIP's bowlers too will have their task cut out against an impressive SRH batting order. Punjab's bowling efforts have been led by skipper Ravichandran Ashwin who has proved his mantle as an ace offspinner.
So many pundits are dubbing this contest as the battle between Kings Eleven Batting and Sunrisers Hyderabad's bowling.
Probable XI: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake.
#SRH have won all their four games against KXIP in Mohali. The last six head-to-head encounters all went to SRH.
#The average score for teams batting first in the last ten IPL matches in Mohali is 174, with a win-loss record of 4-6.