With the return of star English all-rounder Ben after toe injury, CSK seem a formidable side at fortress Chepauk for today’s encounter with SRH
Ben Stokes during a CSK training session last month. Pic/CSK
Four-time champions Chennai Super Kings will hope their star all-rounder Ben Stokes finally takes the field after recovering from his injury when they go up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match here on Friday. In a relief to CSK, Stokes, who was suffering from a toe injury and missed three IPL matches, took part in the net practice on Wednesday after regaining fitness and is available for selection.
The England Test captain’s return will be a big boost for CSK as they return to their fortress following a close win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Their opponents Hyderabad, however, copped a defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians. The Super Kings batters have been able to put up good scores, thanks to the starts provided by Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top while the big-hitting Shivam Dube has managed a few impactful knocks.
Rahane, a revelation
Ajinkya Rahane has been a revelation, batting with a lot of freedom and going after opposition bowlers, but in an orthodox manner and though the rest of the batters have not done much, the crowd, especially in Chennai, will expect to see a vintage Dhoni uncorking some huge hits. While the CSK batting unit has been finding the runs, the bowlers have been inconsistent and fielding below par.
SRH skipper Aiden Markram. Pic/AFP
Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana did an admirable job in the match against RCB but the same cannot be said of the others, though Tushar Deshpande has got better with each game. CSK will be wary of the fact that they were trumped in the previous home game by Rajasthan Royals, losing by three runs as the middle-order could not force the pace leaving Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja too much to do at the end.
Spin it to win it
The Super Kings will look to strangle SRH batters with spin as is their wont and the trio of Theekshana, Jadeja and Moeen Ali could prove more than a handful. CSK has won four of its last five matches against Hyderabad and the home team would hope to extend the run.
SRH, on the other hand, would be expecting their batting unit to click and the onus would be on captain Aiden Markram to rise to the occasion. The other batters in the line-up need to step up if Hyderabad hope to upset CSK’s applecart at Chepauk. Loss of wickets in the powerplay has set Sunrisers back and head coach Brian Lara said after the defeat to MI that someone in the middle-order needs to bat deep and finish off games.
The impressive Harry Brook will be the man to watch in the Hyderabad line-up and if he gets going he could prove a handful for the CSK bowlers. Local lad Washington Sundar, who plays for SRH, will be hoping to get a game and perform well at his home ground. He has been up and down while the bowling unit’s inconsistency has hurt SRH.
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