A dominant display in the 2019 IPL sees the Chennai Super Kings leading the pack with seven wins in the tournament including a four-game winning streak that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon. Hosting tomorrow night’s match, Sunrisers Hyderabad find themselves in dire need of a victory to keep them in the hunt for playoffs. It wasn’t that long ago that Hyderabad was competing for top spot against Chennai as one of the more dominant teams in this seasons comp, but you wouldn’t know it.
Three-consecutive losses will more often than not break the back of most teams, and we’re seeing it with the Sunrisers who at one point looked to be the favourites to take out the 2019 IPL title. That’s no longer a forgone conclusion, now it’s just a matter of breaking this troublesome losing streak before it’s too late. After David Warner and Jonny Bairstow’s dominant outing against RCB where they both scored electric-hundreds, this Hyderabad team has been on the decline ever since. There’s no reasons as to why that is, although some of Hyderabad’s coaching staff hinted that Warner and Bairstow’s dominance up the order has resulted in their middle order with not a lot to do, hence their past three batting collapses. Despite his team losing, Warner is in career-best form with the bat averaging 80 and is currently the orange cap (most runs) leader with 400 runs. The gap between Hyderabad’s opening batsman and their middle order is significant performance-wise, hopefully the return of Kane Williamson will add a bit more stability to their line-up.
A minor-batting slump for the team means that the Sunrisers bowlers are needed more than ever now, and what a sight it was to see Indian seamer Khaleel Ahmed dominate with the ball in his first game back from injury. Taking out both Delhi openers, Khaleel finished with figures of 3/30 off his full quota and will only continue to get better as the tournament lengthens. This is a bowling attack that is capable of withstanding pressure; they’re one of the few teams who have a quality group of seam bowlers including a world-class spinner in the form of Rashid Khan. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is starting increase his output as the tournament goes on after a rather-sluggish start, the same could be said about Sandeep Sharma who has been serviceable with his 8 wickets. Hyderabad find themselves in a tricky position, early wickets could prove to be their downfall once again.
Chennai Super Kings
The Super Kings continue to get the job done, they find themselves 7-1 which happens to be the best record in the competition and look as though they’re going to get a crack at winning back-to-back IPL titles. It’s just been another stroke of genius as to how MS Dhoni has used his squad, bowling seamer Deepak Chahar four overs straight and using Harbhajan Singh on surfaces that benefit the veteran’s off-spin. Harbhajan missed CSK’s last match with complaints of a stiff neck but should be right to go in their next match if selected. Skipper MS Dhoni also experienced a back spasm against the Knight Riders but should be right to go in Hyderabad tomorrow, if not in some slight-doubt. Ageing like a fine wine, South Africa’s Imran Tahir has once again relished the role of Chennai’s specialist overseas spinner sitting second in the IPL’s leading wicket takers this season with 13. Tahir’s 4/27 against Kolkata just recently has given the leggy plenty of confidence going forward.
Amongst all this dominance are some hidden cracks, and the Chennai Super Kings have done well to hide them. It has to be said that their batting has been below-average this season, but you wouldn’t know it given their position in the IPL standings. The addition of Faf du Plessis has certainly helped, especially given Ambati Rayudu’s top order woes to start the tournament. With Rayudu starting to come good in his new role in the middle order and Suresh Raina scoring his first fifty of the tournament in Kolkata, changes may not be required anymore. Chennai’s bowlers have basically saved these underperforming batsmen up until now, it’s time to repay them with some runs. One man who might not be so lucky is former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, he’s had an absolute shocker with the bat in IPL 12. Yes he played a significant role in CSK winning the title in 2018, but that doesn’t hide his poor form with the bat this season where he’s averaging just 13.87.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Sunrisers Hyderabad
- David Warner
- Khaleel Ahmed
- Rashid Khan
- Jonny Bairstow
Wildcard pick – Vijay Shankar
Top 4 fantasy picks – Chennai Super Kings
- Imran Tahir
- Faf du Plessis
- Ambati Rayudu
- Deepak Chahar
Wildcard pick – Kedar Jadhav
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. David Warner 2. Jonny Bairstow (wk) 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Ricky Bhui/Manish Pandey 5. Vijay Shankar 6. Deepak Hooda 7. Abhishek Sharma 8. Rashid Khan 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Sandeep Sharma 11. Khaleel Ahmed.
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson/Sam Billings/Murali Vijay 2. Faf du Plessis 3. Suresh Raina 4. Ambati Rayudu 5. Kedar Jadhav 6. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Mitchell Santner/Harbhajan Singh 9. Deepak Chahar 10. Shardul Thakur 11. Imran Tahir.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.