For a team that has been kept on high ground for its consistent performances, the Sunrisers Hyderabad has done too little this year to live up to the standard. They made their worst start in any season, recording a hat-trick of losses before finally opening their account, but got back to losing ways again, and are languishing at the bottom with one win in five games.
They faltered three chases in a row, aced one dominantly, and then faltered one again. Four winning positions, all left for the opposition to snatch away. The answers for the middle-order muddle are nowhere to be found. The only game they won – by 9 wickets against Punjab Kings – was when none of their middle-order men stepped onto the field. Warner-Bairstow provided a solid start, Williamson entered and snuck a crucial partnership with the latter to take them across.
But a worrisome pattern has emerged in each of their squandered chases so far, which has effectively reduced SRH’s entire batting unit to three names mentioned above. That too with Warner not being at his sensational best.
The openers fell early against KKR, chasing 187, before Bairstow and Manish Pandey settled the storm, scored half-centuries, the latter remained unbeaten on 61, and yet they somehow fell 10 short. From 96/2, they went 143/9 to fall six short, chasing 150 against RCB. 90/3 to 137 all-out to fall 13 short, chasing 151 against MI.
They again seemed to gallop towards victory until Bairstow was around, chasing 160 against DC, but his end – once again – exposed the fragility of an unreliable middle-order, which was only required to lend a supporting hand to a stubborn Kane Williamson, whose 51-ball 66 and an unexpected cameo from J Suchith took things into the Super Over.
Hyderabad’s 2021 story is best summed up by Warner’s short run in the one-over face-off. They have been running 21.99 when running 22 yards is a must, and that bit has denied them getting anything. Just as close Warner’s bat was crossing the line is how close they have come in every chase, only to find themselves short by ‘that’ bit. They still have nine games and qualification remains as much a possibility as it was when the tournament started. If only, SRH finds a way to run that bit.
A team with contrasting fortunes is who they will be up against. The Chennai Super Kings did make a losing start to their campaign, but they have bounced back double-quick and have won four on the bounce. None of their players had game time before coming into the tournament. Most of them are on the wrong side of 30, some even early 40s, and yet, they have truly been the Super Kings, swiftly winning one game after another.
The only unit that seemed like halting the RCB juggernaut was this, and they did in a fashion so ruthless that it snatched the entire advantage that their adversary had earned. What else that 69-run win has done is to give them a massive Net Run Rate boost (1.612). Although, CSK might even put the NRR out of the equation should they manage another week with the same force.
Pitch and conditions
This is the first game in Delhi, where the conditions will not be too different than Chennai. In 73 domestic T20Is, the average score has been 164, with 39 games going to the chasing side. Expect the spinners to find ample assistance.
Playing combinations for CSK vs SRH
Chennai Super Kings
It is unlikely for CSK to make a change in their winning combination. Given Delhi’s spin-conducive conditions, Imran Tahir should hold his place.
Predicted XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
There is no other way for SRH but to play both Bairstow and Williamson. Warner and Rashid Khan are default picks, which means that their overseas slot cannot change. They are expected to play the same eleven.
Predicted XI: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Virat Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, J Suchith, Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed
CSK vs SRH Head to Head
Played – 14 | Chennai Super Kings – 10 | Sunrisers Hyderabad – 4
CSK vs SRH Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 7:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar
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