The Punjab Kings face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their sixth match of Tata Indian Premier League 2022. With 6 of the 10 teams clubbed together at six points on the points table, including the aforementioned teams, a win will give either of them a chance to join Gujarat Titans at the top.
With the tournament getting tighter and competition getting tougher, it will be a win both teams are looking for. Ahead of this crucial clash, here are a few talking points.
Journeys so far in Tata IPL
While both PBKS and SRH have six points each, their routes to their current position have been starkly different. On the one hand, the Punjab Kings have had alternative wins and losses, and are in search of stability to strengthen their foothold on victories.
On the other hand, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have won three successive games, having lost two consecutively to begin with. They would not want to lose their built-up momentum, which PBKS will be bent on breaking.
Punjab Kings’ strength - no single-player dependency
In all the games the team has played so far, it has often been difficult to point out just one player who has turned the match around. In the most recent instance, while Captain Mayank Agarwal’s 52 (32) earned him the Player of the Match award, Shikhar Dhawan also contributed with 70 (50).
Also important was Jitesh Sharma (30* off 15) and Shahrukh Khan (15 off 6) stitching together a 22-ball 46 that gave the team a chance to pull off a 12-run win. And not to forget, Odean Smith’s 4-wicket haul and a good last over that helped the team defend their total. Not relying on a single player has been the team’s greatest strength.
The Shikhar Dhawan-Marco Jansen battle
PBKS opener Shikhar Dhawan has faced Marco Jansen before in an India vs South Africa ODI game, where he made a comfortable 79 that went in vain, but not before sending the young pacer off to a flurry of boundaries.
While Jansen is known to throw down some good toe-crushers and be a possible threat, Dhawan has been as good, if not better, at warding them off. It will be a treat to watch the duo battle it out on the ground.
The clash of the Rahuls
Rahul Tripathi has been in good form, scoring 171 runs so far in the Tata Indian Premier League 2022. His most recent score of 71 (37) against KKR in a winning cause makes his strength evident.
For the Punjab Kings, Rahul Chahar has been giving the team important breakthroughs. Despite one expensive over to start in the previous game, he gave away only fifteen runs in the next three, making up for the same. In the two overs that he has bowled to Tripathi in the IPL, Chahar has given away 22 runs and dismissed him once.
First encounter under the sun for PBKS
This will be the first afternoon game for the Punjab Kings and the match will start at 3.30 PM IST. While it will be held in the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai, where PBKS won their first game against the RCB, the afternoon conditions will play a big role in the game.
SRH, however, have already played a match in the afternoon heat at the same stadium too, and won that match against CSK by eight wickets. So free up your Sunday afternoon to cheer for the Shers!