After yet another thriller last night, we move our eyes to Hyderabad for a top of the table clash as the bowling might of Sunrisers Hyderabad takes on the batting might of Kings XI Punjab. Here are the top Fantasy tips and players to pick from the match.
**Update – 7:45pm – no Bhuvneshwar Kumar again. I will hold on to him in my side, but my Power Player is now Kane Williamson and 2nd innings Power Player KL Rahul.**
1 Shikhar Dhawan 2 Kane Williamson (c) 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 4 Manish Pandey 5 Shakib al Hasan 6 Yusuf Pathan 7 Mohammad Nabi 8 Rashid Khan 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10 Sandeep Sharma 11 Siddarth Kaul
Kings XI Punjab
1 Chris Gayle 2 KL Rahul (wk) 3 Mayank Agarwal 4 Karun Nair 5 Yuvraj Singh 6 David Miller 7 R Ashwin (c) 8 Andrew Tye 9 Barinder Sran 10 Ankit Rajpoot 11 Mujeeb Zadran
Here is my squad for the match.
Subs Used – 0
Subs Left – 43
Deepak Chahar -> Siddarth Kaul (uncapped sub)
Power Player – KL Rahul (if KXIP bat first)/Bhuvneshwar Kumar (if SRH bat first)
2nd Innings Power Player – Kane Williamson (if KXIP bat first)/KL Rahul (if SRH bat first)
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, I believe I have enough players – Kane Williamson, Shakib al Hasan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Sunrisers do have 2 matches in the next 4, so it’s not the worst idea to stock up on them still. Williamson has been in top form – even with Dhawan back, he’s opening the batting and that’s where he’s best at in T20 cricket. He has 4 25+ scores in a row – 3 of them 50s. Against an iffy Punjab bowling lineup, he should be in the returns again.
Shakib was picked up as a steady performer, and despite a stupid run-out against Mumbai, he did just that. If Sunrisers do away with the Saha as a pinch-hitter experiment, he could also come in at #4. If you don’t have him already though, it might be a bit too late to pick him up with just 2 games to go in this cluster for Sunrisers.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be back in the fray after being rested last time out. At Sunrisers’ home, he’s even more of a potent threat and could be in the big returns against an especially frail Punjab tail in the death – they have Ashwin at 7 and not much to speak of after that. I’ll vest Power Player duties in him if SRH are to bat first.
I’m ignoring two Sunrisers bigwigs here – Shikhar Dhawan and Rashid Khan. Dhawan didn’t look in convincing form after his injury – he also suffered another blow to his back leg against Mumbai, and it seemed like he was rushed. I can ignore him until he’s back. Rashid might have had a stormer last match, but it was a 120-90 match – you won’t see too many of those pitches in the IPL. He has still gone for ~50 runs in 2 of the last 3 matches and teams generally tend to play him out for 1 or 2-25, which won’t do too much Fantasy wise.
Kings XI Punjab
With regards to Punjab, KL Rahul is perhaps enough cover here. They embark on a 8-game break after this one, and that is the major factor in my considerations.
Yes, that means I’m ignoring Gayle here – I can’t justify using the sub on him to get him straight out, especially since I already have Power Player contenders for Punjab’s batting innings. I realize he scored a 100 against Sunrisers last time, but they’re still the best attack to neuter him. There was no Billy Stanlake last time, he didn’t face enough Bhuvneshwar Kumar and they only had a part-time off-spinner.
With Stanlake’s injury, the Gayle-kryptonite will be back in the side – Sandeep Sharma. Sandeep has picked up Gayle 4 times in 4 matches, and Punjab will know this all too well. Mohammad Nabi is also in the side now, so they’ll have a genuine off-spin option at Gayle. Then of course, it’s not the Mohali featherbed – it’s a slow Hyderabad surface. With all that in mind, ignoring Gayle is a risk I’m willing to take now, given that he may still be sore from the injury that made him miss the last game.
Siddarth Kaul is the pick of the pack here – he’s in great form, back at the bowling friendly Hyderabad pitch and will bowl in the death to an iffy Punjab tail. If Basil Thampi plays, he may be tempting but I’d still go for Kaul – Kaul gets the 4 overs, while Thampi will only get 2 at the back end. Mayank Agarwal is the only option, but he’s not been making much of his starts and will be up against the toughest bowling unit.