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IPL-8: Bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab eye win at home

Mohali: Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will seek a win to provide partial relief to their troubled Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign during their face-off at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Monday.

KXIP skipper George Bailey and SRH captain David Warner
KXIP skipper George Bailey and SRH captain David Warner 

Punjab's 97-run capitulation against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Chennai on Saturday condemned it to the embarrassing position at the foot of the standings with just four points from six matches. Their frailties in bowling were mercilessly exposed by the formidable CSK batting as their battery of wicket-takers were carted to all corners of the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Their biggest hope, Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson also bore the burnt of hitting. Their batting, which is undoubtedly their strength, was supposed to have compensated for their deficiencies in bowling. But despite the presence of heavyweights Virender Sehwag, David Miller, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey, they have consistently struggled to forge partnerships that form the foundation of good totals. Poor form forced Maxwell's exclusion from Saturday's team but that provided no solution to their woes.

They can, however, draw comfort from the position of their Monday's opponents, who are themselves not in the pink of health. Hyderabad may be better placed on the points table (fifth) but only via a superior run rate — having won just twice in six matches like Punjab. Their batting is top heavy, relying heavily on openers David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. But scratching beneath the surface reveals the real scenario.

The good work of the openers has been nullified by a malfunctioning middle-order. Their latter batsmen have to rise to the occasion for the team to perform as a unit. Their bowling is, similarly, dependent on South Africa-New Zealand pace duo of Dale Steyn and Trent Boult.

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