Dhoni’s side looks in fine order; Warner’s team has won just once in five games
After creaking last season, the rejuvenated Chennai Super Kings is motoring along like a well-oiled machine this season.
Its different wheels are moving in cohesion. While the team is consistent, it is also throwing up match-winners such as ‘Hurricane’ Ravindra Jadeja.
CSK has four wins in five games and is looking versatile.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, in contrast, has been struggling. It is unable to cross the finish line in close games; SRH has four defeats in five games.
The side, undone by injury to yorker specialist T. Natarajan, has been adversely impacted by the lack of meaningful contributions from its Indian cricketers.
But then, SRH,which lost a Super Over to Delhi Capitals, has the opportunity to find some form and momentum when it meets CSK in New Delhi’s Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Wednesday.
All eyes will be on the pitch. If the past is any indication, the surface should encourage the spinners and pacemen who can send down effective cutters. Dew will be a factor.
Hungry and dangerous
CSK is looking hungry and dangerous. Openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad are among the runs and the side, with game-changing batsmen, bats deep.
Then there is Jadeja. The left-hander is striking the ball like a dream and bowling with control and skill.
M.S. Dhoni’s team has a probing attack. Deepak Chahar can seam the new ball to deadly effect. And Sam Curran, apart from batting with gusto, can bowl his left-arm seamers zestfully.
SRH is too dependent on its four overseas cricketers, skipper David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson with the bat, and Rashid Khan with the ball.
Among the Indians, Vijay Shankar has bowled capably and shown flashes of batting form but has to finish games.
CSK is the favourite but then you can never tell in cricket.