Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad log heads in battle of Supremacy

Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad log heads in battle of Supremacy
 

After a month and a half of madness where monstrous sixes were hit, brilliant catches were taken, questionable decisions were made – both by teams and umpires, the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League is ready for its first qualifier. Battling it out on the field will be the top two sides – the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad

May 22, 2018

19:00 hours IST

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Recent form:

Sunrisers Hyderabad – LLLWW

Chennai Super Kings – WLWLW

Face-to-face during league stages: CSK beat SRH by four runs; CSK beat SRH by eight wickets

While both have been the dominant teams in the tournament, they have struggled with inconsistency of late and that will be a major cause of concern for both teams. Particularly for SRH, who have lost their last three league games, the concern will be more as their bowlers have struggled to display the form which made them favorites to win this tournament.

There was a time in the tournament when they successfully defended scores of below 150 and had the tagline of the best bowling side of the tournament. In their last three games, they have conceded more than 170 on all three occasions and have ended up on the losing side each time. The fact that they lost both their matches to CSK in the league stages will also give CSK the edge over them.

Having been out in the wilderness for two years, CSK have shown that they have not lost any of their hunger and desire for success as they maintained their record of making it to the playoffs in all the seasons they have been a part of. The comeback has been led admirably by MS Dhoni and his old warhorses have played their part to ensure that the yellow army live up to their expectations.

Such matches call for big match temperament players to stand up and CSK have plenty of them in their ranks. One never knows what goes on in the mind of MS Dhoni as was visible from their last game when they sent Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar ahead of more established batsmen. While one can expect the unexpected from him, the same cannot be said about Kane Williamson.

Williamson has stepped up brilliantly in the absence of David Warner and has taken his T20 game to a level where Warner’s power hitting capabilities have hardly been missed. Yes, he has been blessed with a power packed bowling attack but the way he has handled his men is one of the primary reasons behind them sitting at the top of the table.

Dhoni and co. will definitely be testing the SRH batsmen, in particular their middle order. Sreevats Goswami came in at a crucial stage and got some runs at the top of the order but he won’t find the going easy against Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi. That being said, Shikhar Dhawan is a player who fancies the big occasions and has three fifties from his last four hits. On the other hand, there is Suresh Raina, who played a mature innings to get his team over the line against Punjab.

While there are plenty of good match-ups on either side, the rivalry would be decided based on the team which handles pressure well on that day. That clearly gives CSK the edge over SRH. The loser does get another bite at the cherry, but then again there is nothing like an outright win to seal your spot in the finals!

Probable XI’s

Shane Watson should return in place of an out-of-sorts Sam Billings, allowing Faf du Plessis to slot into the middle order.

Chennai Super Kings – Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sam Billings/Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur

Expect an unchanged XI from SRH.

Sunrisers Hyderabad – Sreevats Goswami (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul

Trivia

  • Suresh Raina’s 45-ball fifty against Kings XI Punjab was his slowest in the T20 format, beating his 44-ball one against Royal Challengers Bangalore back in 2015
  • The six to seal the match against Punjab was the fifth time MS Dhoni repeated that feat to finish a successful chase in the IPL
  • This is the first ever IPL season where all the teams have won at least five matches
  • Table toppers have only become IPL champions twice in ten seasons while the team finishing second has won it five times

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