King`s XI Punjab v Sunrisers Hyderabad - Indian Premier League Cricket Preview

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Published: 13/05/2014

The Kings XI Punjab have made a spectacular start to this season’s IPL competition, and are already well placed to qualify for the knockout stages. As the ascent of the King’s XI has been something of a surprise, the bookmakers still consider Chennai Super Kings to be the favourite to go one better than their final place in last season’s competition. But the early form of the King’s XI has ensured that they are backed by most bookmakers to go all the way to the final.

Unquestionably, the big hit of the tournament for the King’s XI has been Glenn Maxwell. The Australian batsman and useful occasional bowler gave indication of his ability in the winter ODIs which followed the Ashes demolition of England, and the 25 year-old has evidently gained confidence from this. Although Maxwell has yet to establish himself as a test regular, although his performances with the ball in his two tests to date were promising, he will surely be a big part of the Australian national side in years to come.

Aside from Maxwell, the South African David Miller has made a fair few runs for the King’s XI, chipping in with three useful fifties. Between Maxwell and Miller, the King’s XI has made enough runs to set themselves up with the ball, and Virender Sehwag has delivered some typically destructive cameos as well.

Aside from having the tournament’s top run scorer, the King’s XI has also delivered with the ball, with the wily medium pace of Sandeep Sharma and fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji being particularly impressive. There is a strong native element to this King’s XI side and this has ensured that they have received the sort of passionate crowd support that helps any team.

Two sterling performers in the longer forms of the game have driven the still relatively new franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. David Warner, who starred in the Aussie top order in the Ashes, has been an outstanding performer for Hyderabad. While their bowling department has been led, as usual, by the world’s top seamer Dale Steyn. If the sunrisers don’t yet have the resources of some of the big hitters in the IPL, they still have some big names to call upon.

So who will come out on top here? Well, the sunrisers will unquestionably looking to their two big guns to fire against the King’s XI. If we look at the two sides man for man, then the King’s XI would certainly appear to possess the more balanced eleven, and the only way to negate this in the shorter form of the game is to have one or two standout performers who take the game away from the opposition, and both Steyn and Warner are certainly capable of doing this.

But the King’s XI are comfortably ahead of Hyderabad in the table for a reason, and in all honesty they look to have much the stronger side on paper. I fancy them to win this one with some comfort.

Tip: King’s XI Punjab to win

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