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PBKS aims to eliminate inconsistency in home leg

PBKS aims to eliminate inconsistency in home leg

After a Shashank Singh-inspired comeback breathed new life into their struggling campaign, Pbks aim to capitalize on that momentum as they kick off a crucial four-match home leg against the high-flying Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mullanpur, New Chandigarh, on Tuesday (April 9).

While Punjab’s success in recent years has often been built on their bowling strength, Sunrisers Hyderabad has surprised many this IPL season with their formidable batting. SRH boasts the best batting PowerPlay record among all teams, scoring at an impressive rate of 11.66. Their recent record-breaking total of 277/3 against Mumbai Indians showcased their batting prowess, and a convincing win over the defending champions has kept them in a strong position with a healthy Net Run Rate (NRR) of +0.409, second only to CSK among the teams vying to break free from the mid-table logjam. Punjab Kings find themselves in a familiar mid-table position, having struggled on the road early in the competition. However, their recent comeback win against Gujarat Titans has provided a much-needed boost. With key players like Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, and Jonny Bairstow yet to hit their stride, Punjab’s batting lineup has been bolstered by the late-innings heroics of Shashank Singh.

Despite these positives, Punjab’s main concern remains their inability to contain opposition teams in the death overs. With the second-worst economy rate in overs 17-20, Punjab’s bowlers, especially Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh, will need to step up to contain the explosive SRH batting lineup. The match promises to be an exciting contest, with both teams looking to make a statement and improve their position on the points table.

PBKS Seeks Consistency as they begin home leg

When: PBKS vs SRH, 23rd Match on April 9 at 19:30 hours

Where: Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, Chandigarh

What to expect: Pacers have enjoyed considerably more success at Mullanpur in T20 cricket since the 2023 season with 87 wickets as against 33 to spin in 10 matches, which wasn’t quite the case in the one IPL game at the venue thus far.

Head to Head: SRH holds a significant lead with a 14-7 record against Punjab Kings in 21 meetings. However, the last five games have been competitive, with SRH winning three and Punjab two. SRH convincingly beat Punjab in Hyderabad in 2023 by 8 wickets.

Teams watch

Punjab Kings

Injury/Unavailability: A final decision on Liam Livingstone, who missed PBKS’ last game, will be taken on match day, confirmed the team’s assistant coach Brad Haddin.

Matchups & Strategy: Travis Head has been a PowerPlay beast this IPL, scoring at a strike-rate above 210. However, his numbers drop considerably against spin – two dismissals in four outings and a strike-rate of just 81.25. Punjab is likely to exploit this weakness and introduce spin early to neutralize Head’s threat.

Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone/Sikandar Raza, Ashutosh Sharma, Harpreet Brar, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada [Impact sub: Arshdeep Singh]

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Injury/Unavailability: Mayank Agarwal, who was unwell and sat out Hyderabad’s last fixture, could return to the XI after resuming training.

Matchups & Strategy: Jonny Bairstow has struggled this season and will face a tough challenge against Pat Cummins, who has dismissed him three times in T20s. Bairstow also has a poor record against left-arm spin, losing his wicket five times in the IPL to left-arm orthodox bowlers. SRH may opt to open the bowling again with Abhishek Sharma, who troubled CSK in their last match.

Probable XI: Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Adien Markram, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Abdul Samad, Mayank Agarwal/Nitish Reddy, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (C), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Mayank Markande [Impact sub: Jaydev Unadkat]

Did you know?

  • Both Dhawan and Bairstow have represented SRH in the past. Of Dhawan’s 6734 runs, 2518 have come for SRH (37.39%), while the corresponding numbers for Bairstow are 1038 out of 1372 (75.66%).
  • Liam Livingstone needs 89 more runs to complete 1000 runs in the IPL; Aiden Markram needs 98
  • If selected, T Natarajan will be playing his 50th IPL game

What they said:

“The hustle and bustle of IPL boils down to play, travel, play, travel. We have the chance to now play four games on a surface which we understand better than most. I hope it might give us advantage on the points table as well” – Brad Haddin, PBKS assistant coach

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