CSK seek lost momentum against high-flying Sunrisers

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CSK seek lost momentum against high-flying Sunrisers


Kane Williamson's fine form was on full display during their emphatic chase against Delhi Daredevils.

Kane Williamson’s fine form was on full display during their emphatic chase against Delhi Daredevils. © BCCI

Most of the teams would love to be in Chennai Super Kings’ shoes. 14 points in 11 games is a healthy position to be in, also giving them a chance to finish in the top two. But the Super Kings will be concerned by their recent form. After beginning the season in cracking fashion, they have lost three games out of their last five and more often than not, it’s the bowling that has let them down.

They have tried different things to settle on a trustworthy combination. Lungi Ngidi was drafted into the XI, Karn Sharma had replaced Imran Tahir, David Willey was finally given a go, Shardul Thakur was recalled and yet, consistency in performances has been missing. Despite managing to keep most of the batsmen quiet in their previous clash against Rajasthan Royals, they couldn’t find an answer against Jos Buttler, who single-handedly guided RR home. Batting-wise, they have tinkered around a bit, which is quite unusual for a side that plays under MS Dhoni but they will look to find their settled order finally with three matches left in their campaign in the league stage.

Now they run into a side that just effortlessly chased down 188 losing a solitary wicket in their last game. A lot has been said about Sunrisers Hyderabad’s ability to literally defend any target but slowly, they are also showcasing their prowess as a batting unit as well. Shikhar Dhawan, who had a lull period in the middle after hurting his hand, is back among the runs and with the calm and composed skipper Kane Williamson being consistent, SRH’s top order seems to be in a good space.

Having already secured their playoff spot, they are riding high by ticking most of the boxes. If their middle-order, starting from the out-of-form Manish Pandey can hit their strides, SRH will appear unstoppable on all fronts. There will also be minor concerns surrounding Bhuvneshwar Kumar who hasn’t been at his best in an injury-marred season but the management will back their star bowler to turn things around.

When: May 13, 2018, 04:00 PM IST

Where: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

What to expect: The last time a game was played here at 4 PM, the spinners had a field day with Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh spinning a web around Royal Challengers Bangalore. If the surface continues to aid slow turn, the likes of Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan will also come into the equation. Warm temperatures in the late thirties are expected to greet both teams.

Team news:

Chennai Super Kings

It will be interesting to see if CSK decide to give Sam Billings another outing or bring back Lungi Ngidi. They also have the option of pushing Ambati Rayudu down the order by recalling Faf du Plessis.

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

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Coach Tom Moody has made it clear that his side are not willing to make a lot of changes to their playing XI in order to experiment. Wriddhiman Saha is still recovering from soreness on his shoulder and hence will be unavailable which will give Shreevats Goswami another opportunity to make a mark.

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

What they said:

“To be honest it has not been a surprise to us. Kane has been a good T20 player for a number of years. I think it is really an opportunity for people watching to see the versatility in Kane Williamson. He has got a T20 hundred, I think about fours years ago in the Champions League. It is no surprise to us that Kane has the ability to adapt from Test cricket to 50-over cricket down to T20 cricket.” – SRH coach Tom Moody on skipper Williamson’s adaptability

Head to Head

CSK 5 – 2 SRH

Record in Pune

CSK 2 – 0 SRH

Interesting face-offs

Dhoni vs Bhuvneshwar: Dhoni has scored 81 runs off Bhuvneshwar from just 44 balls at a strike rate of 184.09 – the most scored off him by a player without getting dismissed.

Harbhajan vs SRH batsmen: The veteran hasn’t dismissed Dhawan (81 off 61), Saha (51 off 34) and Yusuf Pathan (32 off 25) since IPL 2013. However, he has had the better of Manish Pandey thrice in 48 balls conceding only 46 runs in the same period.

IPL 2018 trends

CSK have the best scoring rate this season (9.30) while SRH have the best economy rate (7.43). On the other hand, SRH has the poorest run rate among the eight sides this season – 7.89.

SRH have the joint highest difference between the batting and bowling average this IPL – +0.46 (7.89 to 7.43) – alongside MI (8.57 to 8.11). CSK are next in the list with +0.31 (9.30 to 8.99).

CSK have lost the fewest wickets (54) while SRH have taken the second most number of wickets (73) after MI (80).

© Cricbuzz


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