Dubai: A Super Over heartbreak in their last match against Delhi Capitals may have relegated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) back to the bottom of the rung, but David Warner & Co knows they could take plenty of positives from the match.
The pieces seemed to have finally fit in the jigsaw for Sunrisers, who with a dash of luck would have backed up their fine nine-wicket triumph over Punjab Kings with another victory.
Having said that, Warner’s men face the real test of whether they have turned the corner and are deserving of a spot in the knockouts when they face the mighty table-topping Chennai Super Kings at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
Both have flown in to New Delhi for the match after SRH were denied on the spinning MA Chidambaram track in Chennai and CSK thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore by 69 runs on the pacier Wankhede wicket.
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CSK were brilliant against RCB but had Ravindra Jadeja not smashed a confidence-sapping 37 in the last over which left their rivals chasing a stiff 192, who knows what the outcome might have been. CSK’s bowlers turned in a performance to match the batsmen and the end result left RCB stunned. Jadeja was clearly the man of the hour as after topscoring with a massive 28-ball 62 before he returned bowling figures of 3/13, with Imran Tahir taking 2/16 and Shardul Thakur 1/11.
CSK are unlikely to ring in too many changes - definitely not with the bat after their worthy returns from their top four of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and Ambati. However, another batsman - perhaps Moeen Ali for either Bravo or Deepak Chahar might be a likely tweak.
Over the years, SRH have been known for their consistency but they have time and again faltered this year. Down 4-10 against CSK in terms of head-to-heads, it doesn’t bode too well for the Orange brigade, who nowadays seem over reliant on their overseas names.
Batting has truly been their downfall and despite chasing a few modest scores, they have failed to get across the finish lines. Jonny Bairstow (211) and Warner (136) are the only two names to feature in the batting Top-25 from among those that have played all five matches for SRH so far, with Manish Pandey (101 from three matches) and Kane Williamson (84 from two outings) next in the pecking order.
Bowling has been the stronger of their two suits, with Afghan import Rashid Khan’s leg-spin working wonders in terms of economy. Khan has six wickets so far and an impressive economy rate of just 5.60 per over after five matches. Allrounder Vijay Shankar is the only other bowler who has played five matches so far, but he seems totally out of depth with both bat and ball - scoring just 50 and managing just a couple of wickets.
The Delhi wickets have favoured spin and that means Sunirsers will be busy scratching their heads, but their one pick or retention is most likely to be spinner Jagadeesha Suchith, whose all-round contribution against the Capitals took SRH to the brink of victory.
Catch the match
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi
Start: 6 pm UAE