Chennai smell blood as they hunt the Mumbai batsmen
Chennai Super Kings are flying high in the IPL Image Credit: BCCI

When Sunrisers meet Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League clash at the Sharjah Stadium on Thursday, it is a match of two similar teams, in more ways than one.

Dubbed as the MRC Nagar Derby — the headquarters of both teams are almost 300 metres apart in the heart of Chennai — both the squads have a cool captain at the helm, both rely heavily on spinners and both have similar approach to the games. The differences, however, now are getting bigger and bigger this season, which is quite evident from the standings. While the Super Kings are at the top, Sunrisers are at the bottom of the table.

The prime reasons for their lacklustre efforts are the forms of David Warner and mystery spinner Rashid Khan. The Australian was replaced by England opener Jason Roy, which yielded immediate results when they won their previous clash against Rajasthan Royals for their second win of the season.

Hyderabad’s main weapon Rashid Khan has been less effective in reproducing his magic. In the day and age of computer-aided preparation for the games, Rashid would have been thoroughly assessed and the batsmen must be ready with a plan for assault.

Rashid needs to come up with new variation to keep the batters guessing.

Super Kings have been steamrollering the opponents and are in their peak of their game. It’s wonderful for the Yellove fans to see them go about their task in clinical fashion, a complete turn of foot from the last time around.

Super Kings were one of the earliest teams to arrive in the UAE and have gone through the grind in stifling heat to get ready for the show and now that effort is paying rich dividends.

It’s has been a collective effort by the Super Kings so far, with almost all the top batters getting runs and finding their touch.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni detractors might point fingers that the skipper has not made any big scores so far, but under the scheme of things he might not be required to land his helicopters in the UAE too often.

Super Kings, who have a batting line up that runs really deep, almost till 10 and a variety in bowling, should be untroubled by the Sunrisers in their clash and continue to go up the ladder.

Today’s match

Sunrisers Hyderabad versus Chennai Super Kings

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Time: 6pm