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IPL 2013 preview: In a best-of-the-rest clash, Kings XI Punjab take on Sunrisers Hyderabad

Nitin Sharma

Posted: May 11, 2013 at 0901 hrs IST

Mohali: For a side whose four out of the top five run-getters average below 25 this season, Hyderabad Sunrisers have done reasonably well, collecting seven wins from 12 games and staying in the reckoning for the play-offs. If the side is to push on, however, the area they need to improve on is fairly evident.

Batsman like Hanuman Vihari, the top run-getter for the side, seemed in form for the early part of the tournament but has gradually dropped out of form. The return of Shikhar Dhawan and the likes of Parthiv Patel showing flashes of form, the batting has looked up in the recent past. But the numbers don’t lie.

Vihari’s 169 runs in 12 matches is the most a Hyderabad batsman has made this season. Only three batsmen have made a half century.

Ahead of the crunch game against Kings XI Punjab, a contest between two sides just outside the top-four,

Hyderabad is also coming into the contest after falling to a big defeat to Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad, their first loss at home this season. Their away form has not been as impressive. Hyderabad has lost four matches on the road and their two wins were not easy affairs.

Mohali will not be the easiest ground to come to either, especially with the likes of David Miller, Shaun Marsh and Adam Gilchrist finding form at the right moment.

right combination

However, in Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma, Hyderabad have the right combination to take advantage of the conditions at Mohali.

“The track in Mohali offers good pace and it will suit our bowlers as well batsmen. Kings XI Punjab have a good batting line-up and we have seen what David Miller can do on his give day,” said Laxman.

no changes

Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab is expected to field the same side that lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. Adam Gilchrist made a come back with his best of 42 in that match and is expected to carry on leading the team in the last four matches.

The situation for Punjab is stark and coach Darren Lehman is aware of it. “We need to win the remaining four matches and we are hopefull of doing that. Our batsmen did a good job in the last match...The Sunrisers have a good bowling line-up and we expect batsman like Miller and Marsh to perform well,” said Lehman.

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