International Cricket

Match Preview – SRH vs CSK 18th Match, IPL

Match details

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Hyderabad, 1930 IST (1400 GMT)

Big picture

The euphoria of watching their Thala bat may have taken the sting out of their defeat to Delhi Capitals in Vizag three nights ago, but Chennai Super Kings will be the first to admit morale wins only count for so much. In Hyderabad, they will be up against one of the most explosive batting sides in the competition, in conditions where 277 didn’t seem safe enough, just over a week ago.

They’ll potentially be without one of their gun bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman, who knows a thing or two about bowling on these tracks. In 2016, Mustafizur starred in Sunrisers’ march to their maiden IPL crown, picking up 17 wickets in his maiden IPL season. Eight years on, he continues to be just as effective despite a few run-ins with injuries.

However, if there’s a batting line-up capable of combating anything that is thrown at them, it’s the Sunrisers. Abhishek Sharma has set the tempo at the top and Travis Head has already shown how dangerous he can be in that game against Mumbai Indians. Then there’s Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen in unbelievable six-hitting form.

CSK too have a prolific six-hitter in Shivam Dube, who has struck at 177.09 against spin since last year’s IPL while they also see Daryl Mitchell warming up to a similar role, one of the reasons why they broke the bank for him at the auction.

One team likes data and match-ups, the other believes in gut feel and vibe. It’s a contest of contrasts in that sense, but what unites them is the thrill their power-hitters can generate.

Form guide

Sunrisers LWL (most recent match first)
CSK LWW

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Sunrisers Hyderabad
There’s no Wanindu Hasaranga yet for the Sunrisers. The legspinning allrounder has consulted a podiatrist in Dubai for a heel problem that appears more severe than earlier thought to be. Sunrisers have largely based their Impact Player strategy on conditions with three different pairs engaged in the first three games.

Head coach Daniel Vettori expects Friday to be high-scoring even though it’s a different surface to the one that hosted Sunrisers vs Mumbai Indians. Dube’s floating presence may just tempt Sunrisers to bring in Umran Malik’s pace to try and rough him up. If this happens, one of Mayank Agarwal or Abhishek Sharma could be subbed out when the team bowls.

Likely XII: 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Travis Head, 3 Abhishek Sharma, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 6 Shahbaz Ahmed/Washington Sundar, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mayank Markande, 11 Jaydev Unadkat, 12 Umran Malik.

Chennai Super Kings
There’s a likelihood of Mustafizur arriving in Hyderabad on Friday afternoon after a quick trip home to sort out his USA visa issues. If he doesn’t play straight off a flight, CSK will likely bring in Mahesh Theekshana. If they bat first, expect them to play Shivam Dube and swap him out for Matheesha Pathirana in the second innings.

Likely XII: 1 Rachin Ravindra, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Sameer Rivzi, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (wk), 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Mustafizur Rahman/Maheesh Theekshana, 12 Matheesha Pathirana.

In the spotlight

For two straight games now, Mayank Agarwal has struggled to force the pace in the powerplay, scoring a total of 27 off 30 balls. There has also been a pattern to his dismissals in each of Sunrisers’ three games so far, with bowlers digging the ball into the pitch on a length or short of a length to tuck him up. In a batting line-up bursting at its seams with firepower, Agarwal needs to come good soon to ward off any imminent threat to his spot.

Ravindra Jadeja won CSK last year’s final alright, but his overall batting returns have diminished since IPL 2022, with a strike rate of 133.90 and a highest score of 26* in 25 innings in the tournament. His numbers against spin have been particularly worrying, with 77 balls bringing him just 83 runs. His struggle against Capitals in Visakhapatnam, and Dhoni’s late fireworks, have raised the prospect of a batting-order shuffle, but CSK aren’t known to change things drastically. Can Jadeja repay their faith?

Stats that matter

  • Klaasen’s strike rate of 200.00 against spin is the highest among those who have made 200 or more runs against spin since the start of IPL 2023.
  • Ajinkya Rahane has been dismissed six times in 16 T20 innings by Bhuvneshwar Kumar while scoring 90 off 103 balls.
  • Bhuvneshwar vs Dhoni has gone the batter’s way, though: 94 runs of 57 balls without being dismissed.
  • Since the start of IPL 2023, Klaasen has ransacked left-arm orthodox spinners for 104 runs off 49 balls without being dismissed. Will this change CSK’s use of Jadeja in any way?

Pitch and conditions

A fresh pitch will be used for Friday’s fixture. It’s a black-soil pitch that Daniel Vettori, the Sunrisers head coach, believes will behave far differently to the red-soil pitch on which Sunrisers and Mumbai Indians played out a record run-fest. Michael Hussey, CSK’s batting coach, believes it looks “slightly dry” but expects it to be full of runs nonetheless.

Quotes

“Because scoring rates are so high, you can’t be timid. We understand we have to be aggressive. That’s been the messaging from Pat and me. To take on the bowlers, not be reckless but understand what sort of bowlers you can take down.”
Vettori doesn’t want Sunrisers’ batters to take a backward step

“He’s still exactly the same person. That’s what I’ve been looking for, to see if it’s changed him as a person or character.”
Hussey gives a ringing endorsement of new CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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