IPL 2021: Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad look to arrest slump

In the first game of the first midweek doubleheader of IPL 2021 on Wednesday, Punjab Kings travel to Chennai to face Sunrisers Hyderabad. Despite the season being fairly young, it is a must-win game for both teams due to their poor start to IPL 2021.

Punjab Kings made a positive start to IPL 2021 by winning a tight high scoring game against Rajasthan Royals last week. However, they have failed to build on this victory. In the game against Chennai Super Kings, Punjab’s batting line-up collapsed in powerplay overs, while Delhi Capitals successfully chased down a target of 196 runs against KL Rahul’s men on Sunday. They are currently seventh in the table, so victory on Wednesday is essential to kickstart the campaign.

Meanwhile, the situation is much worse for Sunrisers Hyderabad. They are yet to win a game in IPL 2021. In all three games SRH has played in Chennai, the middle order has collapsed while chasing modest totals. Hyderabad will need some fortune with the toss on Wednesday and big performances in the batting unit to finally get off the mark in IPL 2021.

In head-to-head clashes in IPL history, Sunrisers have an upper hand over Punjab. David Warner’s team has managed to clinch 11 wins against Punjab in 16 outings. It is going to be a real test of character from Punjab to improve this record on Wednesday.

Team News:

Punjab Kings will have a complete squad available for this game. Since the game is being played in Chennai, KL Rahul might bring an extra spinner in the line-up. Meanwhile, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking to get Kane Williamson back in the team, while Jason Roy is also now available for selection after participating in outdoor training with his teammates.

Predicted Starting XI:

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena,  Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed

Key Battle to Watch Out

KL Rahul once again played conservative innings against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, which eventually cost his team 10-20 runs. The Indian batsman will be looking to be aggressive against Sunrisers, but he will come with a stiff challenge in middle overs against Rashid Khan. The wrist-spinner has been very economical in IPL 2021 and has consistently taken wickets in middle overs.

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