Steyn and Co v Maxwell and Co
Match factsTuesday, April 22, 2014
Start time 1830 local (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)
Who will stop Kings XI Punjab? They chased 200-plus against Chennai Super Kings, then they hunted down 190-plus against Rajasthan Royals. And they did so with more than an over to spare both times. It has been basically the duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller who have done the damage; the others have either largely not clicked or have not been needed. They can't keep on delivering at such levels every time, and soon, the rest of the Punjab batting will be tested, if their bowlers continue to go for so many.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's attack - Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Karn Sharma, Darren Sammy - has the potential to test them more than their previous two opponents did. This group of bowlers set up several wins for their side last season in their run to the playoffs. However, even Sunrisers' attack could find it tough in Sharjah. The pitch for the Kings XI-Royals match was a belter without any help for the bowlers.
While Kings XI have plenty of firepower all across their middle order in the form of Maxwell, Miller and captain George Bailey, Sunrisers' batting appears lopsided, with most of the strength concentrated at the top in Aaron Finch, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan.
Watch out for
Glenn Maxwell's scores so far have been 95 off 43 and 89 off 45. After being named Man of the Match against Royals, he said he had left the job "half finished" and should have taken his team to the finish himself. He may overwhelmingly favour the square leg/midwicket region against spin, but he showed another facet of his game against Royals. With Dhawal Kulkarni bowling on the stumps to a leg-side field and no sweeper on the off, Maxwell opened the face to pick up boundaries through cover.
Amit Mishra has made legspin a wicket-taking asset in T20 without reducing it to quick-and-flat stuff. He lured several batsmen to their fall with big tossed up legbreaks in the recent World T20. He will be up against a man whose principal way of dealing with spinners is to slog-sweep them out of sight.
Stats and trivia
- Glenn Maxwell's strike-rate of 160.34 is the second-highest among batsmen who have made at least 1000 career T20 runs
- At 6.78, Amit Mishra's economy-rate is the worst for spinners with 150 or more career T20 wickets
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo