Hyderabad: SRH batsman Jonny Bairstow greeted by M S Dhoni after SRH win during the Indian Premier League 2019.(PTI)
Hyderabad: SRH batsman Jonny Bairstow greeted by M S Dhoni after SRH win during the Indian Premier League 2019.(PTI)

CSK vs SRH, IPL 2019: Under the pump Chennai face high-flying Hyderabad

Chennai are unbeaten at home this season and will start favourites on the sluggish surface that’s normally dished out at the Chepauk Stadium.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Bihan Sengupta
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2019 08:30 AM IST

It has not even been a week since the slump started for Chennai Super Kings, which has now seen them lose two games on the trot. Fortunes turned the other way around for Sunrisers Hyderabad though who after beating the defending champions wrapped up a nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders to continue their winning momentum.

Chennai are unbeaten at home this season and will start favourites on the sluggish surface that’s normally dished out at the Chepauk Stadium. And with Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir spinning webs in tandem, the hosts will have the upper-hand over an opposition that’s yet to prove its mettle in case their opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow fails to guide them through.

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While the Australian is the current Orange Cap holder with 517 runs, Bairstow has scored 445 runs so far in the tournament. In stark contrast, the rest of the team’s batsmen have only accounted for 381 runs. Having stitched four century-run partnerships at the top of the order, Tuesday’s game would be the last time the duo would step out in the middle since Bairstow leaves for England’s World Cup camp after the match. Warner, too, won’t play the entire tournament and it’s high time the rest of the squad join in too.

The bowling unit has, however, taken the cue and chipped in to ease out pressure on the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul who haven’t quite had a tournament to remember so far. Rashid Khan has been their best performer and has found support in the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Sandeep Sharma and Khaleel Ahmed.

It’s quite a similar scenario in the opposition camp as well. Unlike last year when Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu were in top form — notching 602 and 555 runs — this season it has been all about their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has been expected to anchor the innings from the middle overs.

With 317 runs under his belt, Dhoni is the highest run-getter for Chennai with three half-centuries to show for. But with Suresh Raina, Rayudu, Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav managing to reach the 50-run mark only once so far, the lack of support is clearly evident. Coach Stephen Fleming, too, warned after their one-run loss to RCB, that if the trend continued, he didn’t see his side being in competition for the title.

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Thus, while a win would help CSK get back some momentum, they would more desperately want their top-order to fire soon given chances of the side qualifying are all but certain. It should be an exciting contest given the pitch would suit spinners from both the sides and it will actually trickle down to the batsmen standing up to the tough conditions and help their side compile respectable totals.

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