Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in match no. 27 of the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Monday.
KXIP had a disastrous match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), where they were set a target of 193 runs by CSK, but could only crawl up to 95 runs in their 20 overs. SRH too suffered defeat against Mumbai Indians in their last game where their batting failed to rise to the occasion. Both KXIP and SRH, having won two out of their six matches, would be desperate for a win in this game.
Here are some of the key battles that one can expect in this match:
Virender Sehwag vs Dale Steyn: Sehwag has had an iffy time at the crease so far in this edition. He has failed to convert good starts into big scores. He needs to come in handy at the top of the order so that KXIP gets a good start to the innings. Though Steyn has only played few games, he has not been that impressive. He is one of the best fast bowlers in the world and needs to give his side much-needed early breakthroughs.
Shaun Marsh vs Trent Boult: Marsh was sidelined in the first few matches until he played the match-winning knock against Rajasthan Royals. He is an experienced IPL campaigner and would look to add some runs to his name in this game in order to give his side a chance. On the other hand, Boult has not been that effective as he was in the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2015. He can bowl really fast but he needs to use Indian conditions well. If he manages to swing the ball, he can be very dangerous upfront with the new ball.
George Bailey vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Bailey has pushed himself up the order and that was a wise move, as he has been able to score a lot of runs at no.4 position for his team. Unfortunately, he has landed himself on the losing side. It will be a challenge for Bailey as he will face Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been superb throughout the tournament with the new ball as well as in the death overs.
David Warner vs Sandeep Sharma: Warner has been SRH's best batsman so far. He has been batting extremely well in tandem with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. In-form Warner would look to repeat what he did against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Sharma has shown some outstanding swing bowling in this edition of the IPL. He has bowled fast and he is one of the highest wicket takers of the tournament as well.
Shikhar Dhawan vs Mitchell Johnson: Dhawan and Warner have been the backbone of SRH batting. If both these batsmen fail, then their entire batting line-up crumbles. Dhawan has played a number of good knocks in this IPL and he would look to repeat the same against KXIP as well. Johnson has not been impressive with the new ball, thus Bailey brings him on towards the latter half of the powerplay overs. But the Mohali pitch is supposed to be fast and there should be a tinge of green on the surface and looking at that, Johnson would be itching to bowl.