Hyderabad, Apr 08 (PTI):
Smarting from back-to-back defeats, Sunrisers Hyderabad will have a lot to ponder, especially addressing their batting frailties, when they take on a high-flying Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.
For a team that finished at the eighth spot in the last two editions, SRH would have hoped for a better start to the season but they ended up suffering two crushing defeats at the hands of Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants respectively.
A poor show with the bat despite some exciting players in the line-up is the prime reason behind their failure. Sunrisers’ struggles to build partnership saw them score 131 and 121 in their two matches so far.
Losing wickets in a heap has proved to be their bane as they failed to get any momentum. If SRH was 30 for 2 in the powerplay in the first game, they managed 43 for one against LSG, only to fritter it away, slipping to 55 for 4 in nine overs.
The return of new skipper Aiden Markram too didn’t change their fate as he made a duck. The ability to play spin was behind the rise of Harry Brook but he got out to spinners in both the matches.
Captained by the experienced and calm Shikhar Dhawan, PBKS rode on their superior batting, led by their Indian players, to put up 190-plus scores and then defended the totals with Arshdeep Singh producing the goods in the two matches. Dhawan has led from the front with two fifties, while Prabhsimran Singh and B Rajapaksa raised their hands when needed as the top order has looked solid.
Among foreign recruits, Nathan Ellis was sensational against RR in the last match but pace bowling all-rounder Sam Curran — the most expensive buy ever in IPL history at Rs 18.50 crore — has so far leaked a lot of runs.
However, on paper PBKS has the edge and it will take a special effort from SRH to outwit them at their own den.
Match Starts at 7:30pm IST.