Struggling SRH look to overcome roadblock


SRH badly need a win to resurrect their campaign © BCCI

This is not a familiar territory for Sunrisers Hyderabad. For a side that’s been consistent over the last three years, they find themselves in a tricky situation at the halfway mark, losing four games already. With three of those losses coming on the trot, the last team they would want to face is Chennai Super Kings. It’s a side that’s been on a four-game winning streak. It’s a side that has lost just once in the tournament so far and more importantly, it’s a side that has defeated Sunrisers four times last season, including in the final. Form guide and history are clearly against the home side but a win in such a scenario can do wonders and put their campaign back on track.

They had dropped senior players Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan in the previous game against Delhi Capitals but the move did backfire with the replacements failing to cope with the pressure. One of them, if not both, might come back into the side for this crucial game. On the bowling front, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was back amongst the wickets but teams continue to play out Rashid Khan in order to take their chances against the other bowlers. There is certainly a case for a tactical change to try and use Rashid either in the powerplay or at the death when the batsmen are looking for boundaries.

For the Super Kings, it’s all about continuing their winning run. Two more wins will confirm their spot in the playoffs once again and three might seal a top two finish that will give them a cushion. While they will be pleased to see Suresh Raina getting back to form, the focus will be on Ambati Rayudu, who is not only out of touch this season, but also agonisingly missed out on a spot in the 15-man World Cup squad. He can certainly take inspiration from last season’s encounter at this venue where he bailed his side out of trouble with a masterful 79 off just 37 deliveries before bringing up his first IPL hundred in the return clash.

It will be interesting to see if the visitors persist with Shane Watson. After all, he did score a hundred in the final against this bowling attack. Super Kings have had different match-winners in different games so far and they would want the 37-year-old Australian veteran to be the one on Wednesday evening.

The surface has shown tendency to be on the slower side and that could well play into the hands of their strong spin attack.

What: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings, 8:00 PM IST

Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

What to expect: Tom Moody labelled it a ‘good pitch’ the day before the game but it is unlikely to be full of runs. Temperatures are expected to remain warm throughout the game.

Team news

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The home side made four changes last time around. It is highly unlikely that all four will get to hold onto their spots.

Probable XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul

Chennai Super Kings

Dwayne Bravo did warm up on the eve of the game but Super Kings wouldn’t want to push his recovery considering their luxury at the top of the table. The visitors are likely to field the same XI.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir

Did you know:

-> SRH lost all their four games against CSK last IPL. Overall, CSK lead 8-2 in H-2-H encounters against SRH in IPL.

-> CSK have lost most wickets in the powerplay (16) and SRH the least (3).

-> MS Dhoni has scored 87 runs off 49 balls off Bhuvneshwar Kumar without getting dismissed in IPL.

What they said:

“Seven (wins) from eight is a great result. One of the benefits of an experienced team is that when you are doing badly or when you are doing too well the emotional change is not too big. We don’t get very excited, we don’t get too depressed if things don’t go our way.” – Eric Simmons, CSK Bowling consultant

“We still know that this tournament is still wide open. If we manage to get our game together throughout all facets of the game, we will find ourselves playing at the end of the season.” – Tom Moody, SRH Head coach

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