Chennai Super Kings, with a hat-trick of wins, definitely hold the edge over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL league match to be played at Chepauk tonight. Both teams have 10 points after five wins from seven games each. But points can be misleading as CSK is far ahead of Sunrisers as team composition go.
They have a solid opener in Mike Hussey, who can pace the innings as per the situation. Although Murali Vijay is not in good nick, Hussey believed that the Indian Test opener would regain form.The hosts’ middle order constituting Suresh Raina, S Badrinath,Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni looks good and capable of chasing any score. The good form shown by Raina against Rajasthan augurs well for them. Badri, Jadeja and Dhoni have delivered on other occasions. CSK have in Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel (who is likely to replace Holder) two of the biggest hitters and sweetest finishers in T20.
Their fast bowlers Chris Morris, Bravo and Morkel have been on target and are itching to add more wickets to their kitty. But Jadeja, in particular, needs to better his economy rate. Mohit Sharma, who bowled badly and fielded horribly against Rajasthan, should get the axe and Imtiyaz Ahmed may come in. On the other hand, Hyderabad will badly miss the services of captain Kumar Sangakkara and key all-rounder Thisara Perera due to political reasons. But the good news is that Shikhar Dhawan will be playing his first IPL game of this, and also his first game after the Australian Test series. As the league reaches the half-way stage, it is important for teams to field their best sides and get maximum points to qualify for the playoffs.
Their batting will depend on stand-in skipper Cameron White, PA Reddy, Quinton De Kock, Hanuma Vihari and BB Samantray, and Darren Sammy would replace Perera. White is familiar with the conditions at Chennai right from his Australia ‘A’ days. Vihari and Samantray are in good form, and with the Chepauk wicket being a batting paradise, they could do well. Hyderabad have one of the best new-ball pairs in the IPL —Dale Steyn with his express pace and Ishant with his swing can stifle batsmen in the powerplay.
The experienced leggie Amit Mishra, in form Karan Sharma and Vihari form the spin attack. Since Chepauk wicket is known to aid spinners, the trio will have a big role. The surface for the game is the same one used for the Rajasthan match.
Although the wicket was covered on Wednesday morning due to showers, the sunshine later on has removed the moisture.
Now, the wicket looks flat, dry and would have good carry. Should either team win the toss, they would certainly bat first.