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Kings XI Punjab, who have two wins from two matches, clash with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 9 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
KXIP have emerged as a force to reckon with – and start favourites heading into this match – after they nailed down two lofty run-chases in style. Sunrisers Hyderabad, meanwhile, lost their opening match of the season to the Rajasthan Royals. After crawling to 133 runs, SRH put in a spirited fight to defend that total. But RR snuck past the finish line, thanks to a mature knock by Stuart Binny.
KXIP will look to retain their position in the top-half of the table, while SRH will be keen to get their first points on the board.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 8 pm IST
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
After scores of 95 and 89 – which made him only the third player in the IPL to score 80-plus in consecutive innings – it is but obvious that there will be a lot of expectation from Glenn Maxwell. On the eve of the match, SRH coach Tom Moody confirmed that his team had done their homework on how to keep Maxwell quiet. Moody said, “We have done our thorough review and analysis on Glenn Maxwell. A lot of players in our side are pretty familiar with Maxwell, like Aaron Finch and David Warner and our assistant coach Simon Helmot, who coaches Maxwell in Melbourne. We are pretty aware of what his strengths are."
The others in the KXIP line-up, who need to be closely followed, are David Miller and Mitchell Johnson (who was surprisingly rusty in the first two matches).
Given how potent their bowling attack is, SRH will hope their batsmen can come all guns blazing and post sufficient runs on the board. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner form a pretty formidable top order, and given the inexperience in the middle order, it is very crucial that one of the top three bats for the bulk of the innings and the top three make the bulk of the runs.
Notes from Previous match
Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals: George Bailey and co. would have made note of the fact that they didn’t make the most of the fielding restrictions; they only managed 39 runs in the first six overs and only found the fence on four occasions when the field was in. KXIP will also be aware they cannot allow opportunities that come their way to slip away; David Miller put down Shane Watson in the previous match, while Murali Kartik put down a difficult return catch.
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals: Despite having the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch, David Warner and Darren Sammy – who are renowned strikers of the cricket ball – Sunrisers Hyderabad only managed six boundaries and two sixes in their entire innings. Coach Tom Moody would have told his wards that they need more momentum at the top of the innings. 41 runs in the first six overs do not do justice to a destructive top order.
Sunrisers Hyderabad hold a 100 percent record against Kings XI Punjab. The two teams clashed twice last season and SRH got the better of their opponents on both occasions. In the first meeting at Hyderabad, SRH restricted KXIP to 123 for nine and then got home with five wickets in hand. In the next meeting at Mohali, SRH posted 150 for seven and then restricted KXIP to 120 for nine.
Six of Glenn Maxwell’s seven half-centuries have resulted in victories for his team.
Glenn Maxwell hits a boundary every 4.3 balls on an average in T20 cricket; off the 860 balls he has faced in the format, he has hit 196 to the fence or over it.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will head to Dubai for their clash against the Delhi Daredevils scheduled on April 25. Kings XI Punjab will travel to Sharjah for their 26 April clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Kings XI Punjab are riding high on confidence after two back-to-back victories. Glenn Maxwell and David Miller have ripped apart bowling attacks thus far and chased down huge totals with ease. But there still are some doubts about their bowling attack, which has allowed the opposition the leeway to post huge totals on the board.
Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey agreed that there was scope for improvement in the bowling department. “I do know that there are things that we can improve with our bowling, but I think they both have been really good batting wickets, so it’s been challenging to work out exactly what a good score is. I guess we will start to learn more about that in the next couple of games. But ideally, you don’t want to be chasing 200 or close to 200 every time you bat. It becomes difficult. I don’t think we have seen the best of our bowling attack yet. So, we are just after consistency from our team.”
Barring Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, none of the other batsmen have looked as effective. The eyeballs have been on Virender Sehwag, but the opener has hardly made his presence felt. Sehwag though had the backing of Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar. “He is hitting the ball well. In the last game, he was slightly unlucky. It went off the middle of the bat and straight to a fielder; it could have gone anywhere. We know, within our own minds, that a good knock from Viru is just around the corner,” Bangar said.
Bangar reserved a special mention for Cheteshwar Pujara, who anchored the innings at one end during Kings XI’s chase of 192 against the Rajasthan Royals. We are pretty pleased with the way Cheteshwar is shaping up because he has a role to play. Despite this being Twenty20 cricket, I still believe there is room for a solid batsman at the top of the order. I am pretty sure as the tournament goes on, he will pick up his game. It’s just a matter of getting used to the T20 stuff. I believe if he can do that, it will be good for the team, and we will not have to rely on just the talents we have in the middle order in Maxwell, Miller and Bailey.
Up next, Kings XI meet the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have a good quality bowling side featuring the likes of Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and leggie Amit Mishra. “Not just their bowling, I think their batting is very strong too,” Bailey said. “I think they are just a very well-balanced team. They didn’t probably bat as well as they would have liked in that first game, but their bowling almost dragged them back into it. That’s how good it is. So we’ve just got to be aware of that, and once again, sum up the conditions because they may be different again tomorrow.”