Dubai: The message from Mahendra Singh Dhoni after their defeat in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore was loud and clear - ‘‘We need to get our act together.’’ It remains to be seen if Chennai Super Kings can buck the trend and be their old selves when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in another south Indian derby at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
The IPL 2020 has reached the halfway mark with the return matches getting underway now and in their first meeting, David Warner’s men had won a close match by seven runs. The result, however, will have no bearing on the battle ahead except the fact that David Warner’s men are looking a more organised team of the two at this juncture despite their astonishing five-wicket loss to underdogs Rajasthan Royals on Sunday afternoon.
Sitting in fifth position in the table, Sunrisers still have their share of problems with their main death bowler Bhubaneshwar Kumar ruled out of the tournament. However, the Orange Army seems close to finding the right composition with a solid top four in batting, T. Natarajan showing consistency in the death overs and a spin attack to die for in Rashid Khan.
The performance of the yellow shirts, meanwhile, has brought little cheer to their diehard army of fans - despite starting their campaign with a win over champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener. It’s difficult to recall when they were last seen in the seventh position in the table, though their iconic skipper feels the scenario can quickly change with a few wins.
“I feel once we get a few results in our favour, it will be slightly different for us,” he added.
“Batting has been a bit of a worry, and I think today also it was very evident. I feel we need to do something about it because you can’t just keep turning up and it’s almost the same thing happening… maybe the individuals are different,” Dhoni said after CSK were found wanting in their chase of 170 against Virat Kohli’s Challengers.
“I feel our batting has lacked a bit of, you can say power... more from the sixth over onwards. At times, individuals can get a bit tentative. No matter how much confidence you are giving them, ultimately they need to go out and have their own plan,’’ said Dhoni. It’s becoming increasingly evident as to how much are they missing the services of Suresh Raina, who has been the pivot of their batting in No.3 position over the years.
There are calls that CSK should look for a strong middle order batsman in the mid-season transfer window as Ambati Rayudu, despite being a honest trier, cannot bring the required intensity when required. The three-time champions, hence, are left banking on Dhoni time and again to deliver if either of their veteran openers - Shane Watson or Faf du Plessis falls early.
One can write off CSK only at their own peril - as they have shown several times in the past. However, the time is running out fast for them.
Catch the match
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Dubai International Stadium
Start: 6 pm
Live telecast on Bein Sports