Both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab come into the game after having pulled off great escapes in their previous matches. Hyderabad had Amit Mishra to thank for a hat-trick that gave them an improbable win over Pune Warriors while Punjab too defended the impossible against Kolkata Knight Riders. Hyderabad currently sit on third spot while Punjab are fifth.
Hyderabad skipper Kumar Sangakkara sat himself out of the contest against Pune,as Quinton de Kock got a game. That did little to shore up the sides batting,as Hyderabad could not reach 120 and de Kock,opening,made two runs of eight balls. Sangakkara may or may not persist with the experiment,but calls are getting louder for the skipper from the opposition camp,Adam Gilchrist,to leave himself out of the side. The Australian had an underwhelming tournament last time around,and season six hasnt been any better so far. He averages less than eight in four innings of the current edition.
Hyderabad may currently be sitting pretty in the third spot with four wins from six games,but none of their victories have been comfortable. One went to the Super Over,and they have had to defend sub par totals on at least two other occasions. All the close games may not have been great on their collective nerves,but it certainly has not had a great effect on their net run rate. Hyderabad is currently the only side in the top six to have a negative score on that count,something that could come back to bite them later.
It is not just Hyderabad that have struggled with the bat. No Punjab batsman has scored a half century this season so far,and it has meant that more than one batsman has been required to contribute in a game,something that hasnt happened so far. The situation isnt too different with Hyderabad (one fifty so far),but their bowlers have bailed them out. Mishra (9),Dale Steyn (7),Thisara Perera (9) Ishant Sharma (7) are all in the top ten wicket takers list this season.