Two sides at opposite ends of the Indian Premier League table meet in the second match in the competition on Sunday when the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in Pune.
Sunrisers are fourth in the table going into this match but they could end the day in second spot if they win and the earlier result goes their way. Chennai are looking at the potential of needing to win their last six matches to take their title defence into the play-off series.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have had a strange first half and a bit of the season. They lost their opening two matches before winning their next five, only to see that run come to an end last time out even though they had a bowler in the match who took five wickets. They will know they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in that clash with the Gujarat Titans as they failed to defend more than 20 in the final over.
That was the first time since those opening couple have matches that we’ve seen a chink of weakness in their bowling armoury. That will have disappointed them not just because it cost them the match but also because their batters had actually delivered them a really good total to defend. They will hope that the way they lost to the Titans will act as a wakeup call after five straight wins and that they can get back on the winning horse here.
Chennai Super Kings
You always wondered what we would get from the Chennai Super Kings in their title defence when they changed their captain so close to the start of the competition and the answer is not as much as they would have liked so far. They have just two wins from their eight outings and already Ravi Jadeja has decided the captaincy isn’t for him and he has handed the reins back to MS Dhoni. Whether that has the desired effect remains to be seen.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few personnel changes for the Super Kings here either. They need to do something to their bowling unit because they are conceded too many scores of more than 170 for my liking. They have started to come to the party with the bat but this isn’t a team who are built to chase mountains of runs so they really need to sort out their bowlers if they are going to push themselves up the table.
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We haven’t really seen fireworks from Nicholas Pooran in this tournament just yet but someone with the firepower and class that he has can’t be quiet throughout a whole season. Sunrisers will be hoping their dynamic batter can come to the party here.
I guess all eyes will be on MS Dhoni in this match nojust for his batting which hasn’t been going too badly in this tournament but also how he deals with being the captain of the side once again. He gave up the captaincy for a reason after all.
That abysmal final over in the last match for the Sunrisers Hyderabad cost me dearly but I have to side with them once again because there are more than a few issues for the Chennai Super Kings to address as highlighted by the recent change back in captaincy. Their bowlers just don’t look up to the mark to me and unless that changes then they are going to continue to struggle for the remainder of this competition.
I would be surprised if Marco Jansen bowls a final over like the one he did against the Titans again, in fact I’d be surprised if he is even trusted to bowl the last over again, so there is no reason to think that wasn’t just a freak blip by the Hyderabad outfit. That over aside, Sunrisers have been bowling really well in the competition and their batting is getting better and better. On a pitch which is offering something for the bowlers I think they can use their class and win this one.
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