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Conditions might not favour their attack, but the strip used in the last fixture in Mohali was very low and slow, similar to the one in Hyderabad. Signs are encouraging, but they face a stiff challenge in Miller-powered Punjab unit, who, despite, beaten comprehensively in their last fixture, have enough fire in their ranks.
Some young faces have added freshness to their dug out, and maintained a very fine blend of youth and experience. The love for Australia is always evident from the players in their squad. They have always had heavy representation from the country, and this year is no exception either.
On paper, Punjab hold slight edge with a better batting line-up, and enough fire in the bowling armoury. Hyderabad, on the other hand, will have to be extraordinary with the bat.
David Miller has been a real find for Punjab. After bringing Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach to the world of cricket, Punjab have served with yet another talent. The aggressive southpaw is a fierce striker, and is doing justice to his talent with the scores he has managed so far. He hits them straight, and hits them big. Miller is not a slogger, but a powerful hitter capable of hitting it hard. The left-hander's wagon wheel, too, echoes the same as most of his runs are scored in the 'V'. You pitch it up, bowl it short or roll your fingers, the belligerent striker will hit you straight and get enough distance on the ball.
On the edge
Punjab are on the edge, and a goof up here, will vanquish all their hopes of a play-off berth. They have to ensure that, unlike last time, they use the home advantage to full effect. Skipper Adam Gilchrist's return to form will bolster their batting, and hold them in good stead in the remaining leg of the tournament. All they have to ensure is to capitalise, and capitalise on starts, wickets, partnerships.
The consistent inconsistency
Hyderabad have been erratic with the bat. No batsman has looked consistent in the middle, and their inconsistency reflects in the scores they have posted so far. They rely heavily on their bowlers, and will have to chip in with the bat, if they wish to seal a play-offs' berth. Likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Kumar Sangakkara will have to share the responsibility of scoring bulk of the runs, and provide a solid platform for the middle-order to capitalise on.
Thisara Perera has been very good in the tournament so far. The all-rounder has made handy contributions with both bat and ball, and is looking good for more. Subtle variations and some lusty blows with the bat make him a very useful player in the side. The question, however, is, can he do it when his side needs it the most?
Road to Mohali
Kings XI Punjab LWLLL
Sunrisers Hyderabad LWWLL
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