It will be a match between two heavyweights of the competition when Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad lock horns in the 46th match of Vivo IPL 11.
Most of the teams will like to be in the shoes of Chennai Super Kings. They have seven out of the 11 matches played so far and had a possibility of finishing in the top two. However, they will be a tad worried about their recent form. The yellow brigade had lost three of their last five games which have been mainly due to their inconsistent bowling.
Chennai began the tournament in a spanking fashion, and their wins have helped them stand in a good position despite some mediocre performances in the recent past. Chennai will definitely back them to make the playoffs and in all likelihood, they will. However, the bowling department needs to pull their socks up and start delivering on a consistent basis.
Chennai has tried out several combinations. Lungisani Ngidi was drafted into the squad. Karn Sharma was also given a break in place of Imran Tahir while David Willey also made his debut for the franchise a few days back. However, they have been highly inconsistent which hasn’t helped Chennai in the recent past. The form of Shardul Thakur has also been a point of concern. The fast bowler has conceded runs at way too higher run rate.
Meanwhile, in the batting department, Chennai have also chopped and changed with their batting order on several occasions. Ambati Rayudu who is having a terrific tournament so far needs to continue his good form. Rayudu has been dismissed quite cheaply in the last couple of matches. However, he has their leading run scorer and should look to provide a brisk start to CSK if he opens.
Hyderabad, on the other hand, has shown what their bowling line-up is capable of. They have some world class bowlers in their ranks which have been a headache for all other teams in the tournament. The bowling department managed to defend totals of less than 150 on three consecutive occasions in the absence of their No 1 bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Rashid Khan, the Afghan leggie has been quite exceptional. However as the tournament has progressed, Hyderabad has also made everyone realize they have a powerful batting combination too. In the last couple of matches where their bowlers haven’t been at their best, it has been their batsmen who have raised their hands and have done the job for their franchise. Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson have the two most prolific run-scorers for Hyderabad in the tournament so far.
Chennai Super Kings
It remains to be seen whether Chennai Super Kings decide to give Sam Billings another go. There is also a chance of Lungi Ngidi coming back. Du Plessis might also return at the top of the order which might push Rayudu in the middle order.
Predicted XI: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi
Hyderabad head coach, Tom Moody has made it pretty clear they won’t look to tinker with their winning combination. Wriddhiman Saha is still recovering from an injury. It means Shreevats Goswami will get another go today’s afternoon clash.
Predicted XI: Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
Both teams have played some quality cricket in the tournament so far. Hyderabad by distance has been the best team in the tournament so far. However, I have a feeling that Chennai has their noses slightly ahead in today’s match. They need to get on the act. If they do manage to apply their roles to perfect, I will definitely back Chennai to win today’s clash.