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Match Preview - 5 things SunRisers needs to do to beat Kings XI Punjab, 22nd April 2014

The tournament has just started and we are getting an early insight into the strengths of the various teams.   Based on what we have seen so far, Hyderabad takes on one of the strongest teams in IPL 2014 on 22nd April 2014 - Kings XI Punjab.

This is going to be a very interesting match - Punjab's strength is batting while Hyderabad's strength is bowling.   Here is my quick take on what Hyderabad needs to do to win the match-

1.  Bowl first:  Lead with your strength and restrict Punjab as much as possible.  

2.  The team:  Hyderabad's team seemed out of balance for the first match - the batting was too thin and the bowling was too strong.  Here is my pick for the 2nd match - Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch, David Warner, KL Rahul, Naman Ohja, Darren Sammy, Venugopal Rao, Parvez Rasool, Dale Steyn, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra.
There is a need for an extra batsman (Naman Ojha in place of Ishanth Sharma) and need an offspinner to counter David Miller (Parvez Rasool in place of Karan Sharma).   This means that Aaron Finch has to bowl a couple of overs and share the 5th bowlers slot with Darren Sammy.

3.  Targets :  Hyderabad's batting is not strong.  If they bowl first, they should try to restrict Punjab to less than 160.  Anything more than that will be too much to ask from this batting attack. And if SRH bats first, they should again look to score 160.  Giving 130 for the bowlers to defend is too little.  So 160 is the magic number in this match - that is score around which this match will become really competitive.

4.  Batting in middle overs:  Because the top 3 of Hyderabad are very strong, they will get the team off to a good start in most matches.  Where Hyderabad should be careful is batting in the middle overs.  They need to have reasonable targets for the middle overs and should make sure they don't get bogged down.  Even 6-8 runs RPO between the 7th and the 14th over is decent.  

5.  Sammy has to come to bat at the right stage:  Sammy is a match-winner with the bat and he needs to come to bat when there are around 5-6 overs left.  He can easily score at 12-15 RPO and if he is there at the end, he can finish the innings well.

6.  Shikhar is a new captain and leading a team of big starts.  But he has to remember that only he has the captain's job.  He has to lead from the front and ask everyone to do exactly what he wants from them.

Let us hope for a great match of cricket.  8 pm on Tuesday, 22nd of April.

Take decisions during the Live Match using the cool new SunRisers Hyderabad app - available on Google Play Store.

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