Sunrisers Hyberabad v Kings XI Punjab: Sixes much likelier to come from Punjab's hitters

Kings XI Punjab cricketer KL Rahul
Lokesh Rahul is in wonderful form

Thursday's match looks a close affair but Paul Krishnamurty says this Punjab line-up is much better equipped for hitting maximums than Sunrisers...

"One special that certainly appeals is Punjab to hit more sixes at even money. They've hit 33 so far compared to 20 for Sunrisers."

Back Kings XI Punjab to hit more sixes 5u @ Evens

Sunrisers Hyberabad v Kings XI Punjab
Thursday, 15:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Thursday's match involves two struggling sides, still alive in IPL 2020 but for whom the moment of truth is fast approaching.

Bowling weakness ruining Kings XI again

Kings XI Punjab are rooted to the foot of the table on two points. In order to reach the play-offs for only the third time ever and the first since 2014, they'll need to win seven out of nine remaining matches.

Those numbers don't bode well and it is hard not to feel some sympathy for their batsmen, particularly KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal - the first and third highest runscorers in the series so far.

Runs are of little use if the bowlers can't defend them and Kings XI have fallen into a familiar trap. A total of 178 looked solid last time, on a track where all seven previous matches had gone to the side batting first and only one chaser had reached 160. Kings XI duly lost by 10 wickets to Chennai, with 14 balls to spare.

Sunrisers lack batting depth and power

Sunrisers are two points better off and therefore in a much more competitive position. However they do not look the same threat as in recent IPLs, when boosted by conditions at their home ground.

Their problem is more with bat than ball. A total of 174 in their last match is their highest so far, and it wasn't nearly enough.

I still think they can get into this competition, because Rashid Khan will become more of a factor as pitches wear. Their top-four - Warner, Bairstow, Williamson, Pandey - is excellent but they lack depth beyond that. So far at least, it has been essential to have tremendous finishing power in reserve for the death overs.

Batting first is a big advantage

Despite that Chennai victory, the toss at Dubai remains pivotal. Delhi have since made it eight wins from nine for the team batting first. Neither side particularly appeals from an outright betting perspective. I slightly prefer Kings XI but even money the pair makes sense.

Give unders another try at Dubai

Despite losing on runs for two straight matches at Dubai, I am adamant that the 'unders plan' is a good one! The pitch used for the last two matches here was really good but that isn't the norm. Usually, especially as the season wears on, 160 is a good score.

Stick with the strategy. Lay 160 or more 1st Innings Runs at 8/131.6 and 150 or more at 30/1001.3.

Cotterrell to do early damage?

Sunrisers are particularly ripe for backing unders. As noted above they've yet to hit a big total and were Warner and Bairstow to both go early, I could see them being restricted to a very low total. In Sheldon Cotterrell, Punjab have a bowler who could do the damage early if getting any help through the air. I'm taking 16/1 about the West Indian quickie for Man of the Match.

With that in mind, I'm looking for big odds down the Sunrisers order. Rashid Khan at 45/1 is a no-brainer - he slogs brilliantly and is often promoted. The 12/1 about Priyam Garg is big, considering he top-scored in their penultimate match and came in at five last time.

For Punjab, I wouldn't deter anyone from taking the OddsBoost about Rahul at 23/10. He's in amazing form and I suspect would reward regular backers at these odds. Only aversion to favourites in this market deters me from putting that in the staking plan.

Trust Punjab's power players to deliver again

One special that certainly appeals is Punjab to hit more sixes at even money. They've hit 33 so far compared to 20 for Sunrisers.

This makes sense beyond those stats. Beyond the openers, Sunrisers don't have that much power. Whereas for Punjab, Rahul and Agarwal alone have hit 21, and we're yet to see much from numerous powerful alternatives. Chris Gayle hasn't played yet and Glenn Maxwell is yet to hit a maximum.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

Paul's IPL 2020 P/L

-19.6 units

Indian Premier League: Indian Premier League (Winner)

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Saturday 19 September, 2.59pm

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