Their play-off hopes have been dashed, and both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings will be keen to end their IPL season on a winning note when the two teams clash in Sunday’s final. Both teams were knocked out of the playoffs when RCB beat the Gujarat Titans on Thursday.
The Sunrisers would be without the services of their captain Ken Williamson, who is back in New Zealand for the birth of his second child. In his absence, it will likely be Bhuveneshwar Kumar, who previously captained the team, or Nicholas Puran, captain of the Sun Racers in their last game of the season.
While the Sunrisers were able to clinch their five-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak over the Mumbai Indians, Punjab lost 17 times to the Delhi Capitals. The fact that Mayank Agarwal and Co couldn’t win two games in a row sums up their inconsistent trajectory throughout the season.
Morale was high after beating RCB by 54 points, the PBKS suffered an inexplicable racket meltdown in their must-have win against Delhi. Punjab racket unit has been plagued by inconsistencies and you will need to shoot in unison to build or defend a huge group.
If not for the star speculators – Jonny Betso, William Livingston, and Shekhar Dhawan – the Punjab Kings would have Jish Sharma, an IPL finder, to finish the match or take them to a good total. On the bowling front, 22-year-old basketball player Kajisu Rabada continues to have the most wickets among speed bowlers this season. South Africa averaged 16.72 with an economy of 8.36.
Arshdeep Singh (10) has impressed many with his ability to take down yorkers as he pleases, and he was especially good at deadlifts. The Sunrisers, on the other hand, won five games in a row and looked on course for a runner-up finish, but injuries to frontline players like Washington Sundar and T. Natarjan curtailed their campaign as they fell to five games in a row. Skipper Williamson’s miserable form didn’t help their cause either.
On the bowling front, speed star Imran Malik, who enjoyed a good outing in the previous bout, is likely to keep the speed radar busy. The Sunrisers also found the Afghan bowling superstar in the form of mid-level footballer Fadlak Farooqi, who had done the colossal job in the previous game.
Bovneshwar and Farooqi will be looking forward to another good outing, while Natarajan will have to forget Tim David’s hammer and find a way to spruce up their staff again. Rahul Tripathi has led the Sunrisers batting unit this season.
SRH made a few tactical changes in the last game and they paid off. Priyam Garg was brought to the side and the young man was impressed. Abhishek Sharma was good on the spots while Aiden Markram went under the radar after a few good hits.
SRH: Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Puran, Abdul Samad, Priam Garg, Shashank Singh, Romario Shepherd, Marco Janssen, J Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Varkavalu Umari, , T Natarajan.
PBKS: Shekhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal (centre), Arshdeep Singh, Kajisu Rabada, Johnny Birstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Prarar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhasimran Singh, Jeesh Sharma, Ishaan Burrell, Liam Livingston, Udyan Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan , Vibhav Arora, Nathan Ellis, Bhanukka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell.
The match starts at 7:30 pm