MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be looking to take back the top spot in the points table by defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 41st match of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
CSK is placed second with 14 points in 10 matches, while Kane Williamson led Hyderabad is fourth with 10 points from nine matches.
Consecutive losses for CSK in their previous matches have dented the team's 'fairytale' journey in the tournament so far. On the other hand, the Hyderabad side would be eager to defeat the ‘Men in Yellow’ for the second time in the reverse fixture.
Hyderabad’s strength lies in their top-order. David Warner, who holds the Orange Cap for scoring the most number of runs in this tournament, has been in sublime touch.
The one-year ban that he served, gave him enough time to improve his batting technique and work on his weak areas. His performance with the bat has contributed in Hyderabad's success.
His opening partner Jonny Bairstow has given him the much-needed support. Bairstow, who is at the second position in the highest run-getters list, has turned out to be more aggressive out of the two.
At the start of the tournament, it was said that Bairstow will struggle against spin but he has played the spinners really well and dominated most of them by making good use of his feet.
Warner has 517 runs in nine matches while Bairstow has scored 445 runs in the same number of games. But a weak middle-order can be a worry for SRH against a lethal spin attack of CSK.
Players such as Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan have to come up with valuable contributions if the team wants to go past a mighty Chennai side. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won’t be available for today’s game as he has gone back home due to personal reasons.
We could see Shakib Al Hasan or Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi making their way into the playing XI to bolster the spin department.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, and Sandeep Sharma will be spearheading the pace department and would want to contain Chennai’s batting line-up, as they did in the previous encounter.
The management would be hoping for another amazing performance from Rashid Khan, who has been a game-changer for his side.
Chennai Super Kings
The franchise of Chennai was cruising in the tournament with seven wins in eight games. But in the last two matches, the team's fragile batting line-up has been exposed.
Other than Faf du Plessis, no top-order batsman has been able to contribute with match-winning performances. Shane Watson’s performance has been shoddy in this tournament and shockingly, he hasn't been able to score a single half-century in the 10 games that he has played so far.
Middle-order batsmen Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav will have to come out strong for their team. If Chennai wants to win this game, the batting order needs to perform as SRH has a strong bowling attack.
The only saving grace for CSK has been none other than MS Dhoni. In the previous encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he made everyone realise that he still has immense power in those hands.
With 314 runs in nine games, Dhoni has been the best performer for the team with the bat. He would want to continue his amazing form in the league with another match-winning knock against the Hyderabad.
The bowling department has been in top form and would want to restrict SRH to a modest total. Deepak Chahar (13 wickets) and Shardul Thakur would look to pierce through the protection provided by Hyderabad’s opening pair.
Meanwhile, Imran Tahir will do what he does best, which is to take wickets at crucial stages of the game. The most successful bowler in the Chennai franchise would be hungry for wickets this time as he picked up only one in the game against RCB.
Head to Head: 12
CSK: 9 SRH: 3
CSK: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson/Sam Billings, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C and wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, and Shardul Thakur.
SRH: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan/Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (C), Khaleel Ahmed, and Sandeep Sharma.
(Featured Image: FB/CSK)
About the Author
Sports Flashes Desk
The team brings you the latest sporting news from all around the world across all sports.