The rivalry week has started and two of fiercest rivals, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) & Chennai Super Kings (CSK), are all set to battle against each other in the 33rd match of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Like every season, CSK has almost annihilated every competition that has come their way. With 7 wins in their kitty, they currently sit at the top of the table with 14 points and it is highly unlikely that they will be coming down anytime soon.
On the other hand, the franchise of Hyderabad is coming into this game with three back-to-back losses against Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, and Delhi Capitals. Until last week, they were the table-toppers and with these consecutive losses, they have now succumbed to the sixth spot, marginally above the already struggling Rajasthan Royals.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Without any doubt, CSK has been the most consistent side in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The players are in great form and as soon as they set their feet on the ground, they are ready to produce match-winning performances for their team and their skipper - Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The side has been so dominating that they have lost only one out of the eight matches that they have played so far in this season.
If we talk about their team, CSK has been making minimal changes in their playing XI. Sometimes we see Harbhajan Singh playing and if he is out of the squad then New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner makes his way into the side. To be honest, they don’t need to make any forceful changes as every single player is successful in giving match-winning performances when they are given a chance to prove their worth.
The only thing that Dhoni needs to worry about is the opening pair. Faf du Plessis is in good touch, but Shane Watson has not been able to give any valuable contribution with his bat. Watson has only managed to score 111 runs in this season and has an average of 13.87 to his name, which is not at all good for an explosive cricketer like Watson.
‘Watto’ needs to score runs for his team before he loses his place.
Other batsmen like Suresh Raina (194 runs, 8 matches), MS Dhoni (230 runs, 8 matches), and Kedar Jadhav (135 runs, 8 matches) are in great form and are playing their role to perfection as they help their side in achieving victories on almost every other occasion.
The onus of taking them to a victory will once again be on the shoulders of these players and they are expected to continue their amazing form in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
On the other hand, their bowling attack is perhaps the best in the entire tournament. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have been spearheading the pace department with some vital bowling spells in the previous games while legendary spinners like Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh have been producing match-defining spells to help their team earn a victory.
Tahir has 13 wickets to his name in the tournament and is on the second spot in the highest wicket-takers list, only behind his fellow South African teammate Kagiso Rabada (17 wickets).
For Hyderabad, the tournament started on a really amazing note. The opening pair of David Warner (400 runs, 7 matches) and Jonny Bairstow (304 runs, 7 matches) completely destroyed every bowler that came head-to-head against them. But once the magic of Warner and Bairstow faded, the whole world got to see that Hyderabad has a lot of problems in their camp.
The middle-order has failed to give any kind of support to the openers, which has made it difficult for the team to post any big target on the board. Batsmen like Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, and Deepak Hooda would have to take the responsibility to finish the games for their team or else the team will be left to suffer at the bottom of the points table.
Kane Williamson, who made his comeback to the team in the previous game, will strengthen the middle-order and things might turn for the side as Williamson is known for delivering great performances under pressure.
Meanwhile, in the bowling department, left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed made a blistering start to his IPL season. He picked up 3 wickets in his first match of the 2019 edition and gave a much-needed boost to Hyderabad’s bowling line-up.
As far as this match is concerned, Hyderabad comes into this match with an immense amount of pressure on their shoulders. They would have to win this match against the table toppers if they want to make it to the playoffs this time.
HEAD TO HEAD
TOTAL MATCHES PLAYED – 11
CSK WON – 9
SRH WON – 2
Chennai Super Kings – Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner/Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, and Shardul Thakur.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, and Khaleel Ahmed.
(Featured Image: Twitter/IPL)
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar