Warner, Rahul look to turn the corner

Dubai: With their bowling attacks struggling to find form, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) would want their batsmen to get the job done when the two teams meet in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 game here on Thursday.

Punjab (2 points from 5 matches) is languishing at the bottom of the table, while Hyderabad (4 points from 5 matches) is slightly better positioned at sixth. Kings XI’s strength has been its formidable opening combination. Skipper KL Rahul has been in scintillating form so far, scoring two half-centuries and a ton.

His partner Mayank Agarwal has a fifty and a century under his belt. KXIP would hope that the openers come good once again and set a solid base for the middle-order, which consists of Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell.

Apart from the game against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi, the batting department has been performing decently. But, the bowling attack, barring speedster Mohammed Shami, has been conceding too many runs at the death overs.

As Punjab finds itself in dire straits, head coach Anil Kumble is likely to make some changes to the playing eleven. Hyderabad possesses a strong top-order, comprising captain David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson. The quartet would look to exploit the KXIP bowlers, who are low on confidence.

SRH, which comes into the match on the back of a defeat against Mumbai in Sharjah, has backed the young trio of Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad thus far. The team management is expected to give the triumvirate another go, versus Punjab.

However, Hyderabad will sorely miss the services of pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is out with a thigh muscle injury. In his absence, a lot will rely on Sandeep Sharma and Thangarasu Natarajan. Afghan leggie Rashid Khan has been economical and would look to add to his wickets tally.

Agency