Sunrisers Hyderabad, which is on the brink of elimination, will take on Punjab Kings in Sharjah on Saturday.
Sunrisers have just one win in eight matches, and Kings three wins in nine. They occupy the bottom rung of the points table, indicative of the problems the two have endured, particularly with the bat.
While the Punjab side has been guilty of not closing out matches from commanding positions, Hyderabad has been pining for an uptick in batting form, but to no avail.
READ: Nortje impressed by Pant’s understanding of the game
Warner’s poor run
The Sunrisers batting disintegrated against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday. David Warner’s horror time in the IPL continued as he was dismissed for a three-ball duck, and the absence of Jonny Bairstow has increased the pressure on the likes of Kane Williamson.
Sherfane Rutherford, Bairstow’s replacement, has left the IPL bubble to return home after the death of his father. His exit is a big blow. Sunrisers may consider sending Manish Pandey to open. Since IPL 2019, Pandey has been striking at nearly 149 in the PowerPlay.
Umran for Natarajan
The bowling has been a problem for Sunrisers. Their pace looks ill-equipped for UAE conditions and spin is inadequate with the exception of Rashid Khan. They have signed medium-pacer Umran Malik as a short-term COVID-19 replacement for T. Natarajan.
Meanwhile, in the last match against Rajasthan Royals, Kings needed only four off the final over with eight wickets in hand, but fell short.
The Punjab side has relied on K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal for brisk starts. It has got depth in its batting, but must steer clear of a panic-stricken approach.
Punjab left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh will be one to watch out for after a five-wicket haul against Rajasthan.