This year’s IPL continues to throw up surprises! RCB has finally woken up after losing six-consecutive matches and are making a miraculous comeback, meanwhile the dominant force that is CSK have lost back-to-back matches and are no longer looking as sturdy at the top of the points table. Back-to-back wins in Hyderabad couldn’t have come at a better time for the Sunrisers who also encountered a bit of a rough patch, all of a sudden it’s Chennai who’re under the pump…
Chennai Super Kings
They may be perched at the top of the 2019 IPL points table, but cracks are starting to show in this experienced-Chennai outfit. Last night’s match between the Royal Challengers and Super Kings was an absolute nail-biter, a costly-collapse left CSK in a rather-large hole before skipper MS Dhoni stepped in and did what he does best. It’s fair to say the crowd was gobsmacked, MSD managed to take the game into the final over with 27 runs required, only to fall agonizingly short of victory by a single run! Dhoni’s unbeaten 84 came off just 48 deliveries, but in the end his efforts went in vain. These are games CSK should be winning comfortably, instead they’re leaving the door ajar for opposition teams which wasn’t the case in 2018. Loyalty is one thing, but keeping an underperforming star in the side has to be a questionable move. Shane Watson has been well-below his lofty standards having just scored 147 runs from 10 matches, Suresh Raina hasn’t been much better either.
While it appears the batting needs a desperate shakeup, the Super Kings bowlers have been taking care of business this season. This is one of those bowling unit that just clicks instantaneously, Deepak Chahar has been a major influence with the new ball with 13 wickets in the tournament, he’s backed up the spinners superbly. Back from injury, Dwayne Bravo’s bag of subtle-variations should add another string to CSK’s bow ahead of the playoffs. Proteas veteran Imran Tahir has been super-consistent in IPL 12, he’s currently in the race for the purple cap award with 16 wickets to his name. The management of Harbhajan Singh has been interesting, he’s played just four matches but managed 7 wickets in the process in contrast to Jadeja’s ten games for 9 wickets. Changes aren’t a common theme for CSK, but surely Dhruv Shorey and Murali Vijay aren’t without a chance given their top order struggles in 2019.
A crushing-defeat handed to the Kolkata Knight Riders may have just reignited Hyderabad’s campaign after they were caught napping for a while, but their biggest challenge is still ahead of them. Aussie opener David Warner has been a run-scoring machine for the Sunrisers this season, 517 runs from his nine matches averaging 73.85 including five fifties and a century has Warner firmly-placed at the top of the leading run-scorers in the tournament. Both he and his partner Jonny Bairstow have been one of the most dynamic opening partnerships in IPL 12, Bairstow himself has compiled 445 runs at 63.57 in his debut IPL season. It’s not all great news for Hyderabad though, this will be Bairstow’s final match in the IPL before returning to the England side, Warner won’t be far behind either as World Cup preparations get underway. Thankfully they won’t be losing their skipper Kane Williamson who is available for the rest of the 2019 IPL.
Preparing for the loss of their two star batsmen, Hyderabad will want to make the most of the duo with nothing but wins on their mind before their departures. The little-exposure that their middle-order has had this season could hurt them, that’s where Williamson becomes vital to the team. Fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed has added plenty to this Sunrisers bowling unit since returning, he’s already taken 7 wickets in just three outings (all in Hyderabad) and will face his biggest test yet in Chennai against the top team. They aren’t without a chance either, Hyderabad come up against a team that has dropped their past two games and have had their fair share of problems at the top of the order. That should fall right into the hands of Hyderabad who possess an elite bowling attack. Could they do the unthinkable and inflict a third-straight loss on the Super Kings?
Top 4 fantasy picks – Chennai Super Kings
- Faf du Plessis
- Deepak Chahar
- Imran Tahir
- Ambati Rayudu
Wildcard pick – Dwayne Bravo
Top 4 fantasy picks – Sunrisers Hyderabad
- David Warner
- Khaleel Ahmed
- Jonny Bairstow
- Rashid Khan
Wildcard pick – Yusuf Pathan
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson/Murali Vijay 2. Faf du Plessis 3. Suresh Raina 4. Ambati Rayudu 5. Kedar Jadhav/Dhruv Shorey 6. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Dwayne Bravo 9. Shardul Thakur/Harbhajan Singh 10. Deepak Chahar 11. Imran Tahir.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. David Warner 2. Jonny Bairstow (wk) 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Vijay Shankar 5. Yusuf Pathan 6. Deepak Hooda 7. Rashid Khan 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9. Shahbaz Nadeem 10. Khaleel Ahmed 11. Sandeep Sharma/Siddarth Kaul.
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.