Mumbai: The battle between two former champions is on the cards when table toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad clash with second-placed Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium. Today’s winner will be guaranteed a place in the finale at the same venue while the loser gets a second chance in the second qualifier in Kolkata on 25 May.
Sunrisers, who finished at the top of the table, with a slight advantage in Net Run Rate over Chennai Super Kings, have lost three games in a row.
Kane Williamson’s solid batting form and leadership skills have pretty much negated the void left by David Warner’s absence at SRH.
However, Williamson will be worried about SRH’s middle-order an area MS Dhoni’s CSK would like to target. The likes of Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan have been far from productive or consistent.
Hyderabad defended scores of 118, 132, 146 and 151, sometimes in the absence of their bowling lynchpin Bhuvneshwar Kumar, is a testimony to the Kiwi’s astute leadership. While medium-pacer Siddarth Kaul has 17 wickets from 14 games, the spinners Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan have scalped 16 and 13 wickets respectively.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK hold a slight edge as they have got the better of their southern rivals twice in the league stage this season.
CSK, who made a comeback to IPL after two years, have been the best chasers in this edition. The troika of Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Shane Watson have led CSK’s charge with the bat with timely contributions from Suresh Raina, Sam Billings and Dwayne Bravo. While Dhoni has managed to turn back the clock with big-hitting and chasing master.
However, CSK’s bowling at the top has been their biggest positive, with young Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur being impressive. CSK’s major concern is their death bowling as Bravo has been struggling to deliver the goods.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 8, CSK won – 6, SRH won – 2
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Alex Hales, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.