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IPL 2018: Match 46, CSK vs SRH, Preview: Hosts eager to seal their playoff spot against the Orange Army

Will the visitors test their bench strength?

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will now be itching to seal their place in the playoffs after stuttering in their recent encounters. They have returned to their adopted home in Pune and will be looking to continue their victory march at the venue. They have lost only a single game out of the 4 played at the MCA International Stadium this season and will face Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who are already through to the knockout stages of the tournament. Though they would be eager to continue their winning streak while experimenting with their line-up a bit.

MS Dhoni was disappointed with his bowlers for not bowling to the field after the game against the Royals and will be hoping for them to improve their performance. He has never lost his calm on the field so much but his frustration with the bowlers was visible in Jaipur. Though their batting has continued to strengthen them which has not been an issue at all this year. The bowling and the fielding has to be up to the mark in order to clear any doubts in the minds regarding their qualification in the playoffs.

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The visitors will now be looking to experiment by testing some of their benched players. They have a plethora of Indian bowlers who may get a go in the next couple of games and it is a good opportunity for them to get the real feel of the action in the middle. But they will have to take care of not tinkering much with the team combination. The first aim should be to win the game obviously and then comes the part of trying out some of the untested cricketers.

Toss: CSK won the toss and elected to bowl first

MS Dhoni: We will bowl first. I think all depends on how well you’re doing the job on that particular day. Other than that I don’t think it really matters a lot. There have been some venues where people like to chase. If we bat first and put runs on the board there’s no point of always chasing. The wicket will not change in the course of the game, but it doesn’t matter.

Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni(w/c), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, David Willey, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Kane Williamson: We were also going to bowl first. It’s important to assess conditions. It was nice to chase down the total last game. Yusuf’s soar so Hooda comes in for him.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Shreevats Goswami(w), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma

Team Combination

Chennai Super Kings

Deepak Chahar is likely to replace Karn Sharma who has been underused by the skipper significantly in the last few matches. Chahar was seen on the field training hard and might have got fit from his hamstring injury. The rest of the team is will remain same and the team management will hope that the current lot does the job for them. But Dhoni would be wanting more assurance from his bowlers who are constantly underperforming in the death overs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad might go in with the same playing XI for one more game just to seal their place in the top 2. Though their bowlers were at the receiving end in the last game as they are bound to have one bad day and should not be worrying prospect. Shikhar Dhawan‘s return in form is a huge boost for the Team in Orange and if he continues in the same vein, they will become almost unbeatable with Alex Hales and Kane Williamson also in great nick. There is still a worry about the middle order but they still have three matches to prove themselves.

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Focus will be on

Ambati Rayudu (Chennai Super Kings)

Ambati Rayudu is very important for the fortunes of CSK at the top of the order and he got out early in the last match. The team management will just be hoping that the low score is not the start of a dip in form for him. He has been the best batsman for them this year and also earned a place in the Indian side for England tour on the back of some stellar performances. But for now, he will have to concentrate on continuing his batting in the same way. There is no complacency ina tournament like IPL and he must have realised that he should score runs up front.

Siddarth Kaul (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Siddarth Kaul endured his worst outing of the season at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium earlier this week and it is crucial for him to keep his cool. The youngster has been terrific for them since last year and has been picked in the ODI and T20I  squad for the upcoming England tour. Expect Kaul to come back strong in this game and prove that the blip in performance is just a rare occasion for him. Also, the slow wicket of Pune will suit his off-cutters which are more effective. All the eyes will be on him to see the way he responds to the pressure mounted on him.

Head to Head

Played- 7, Chennai Super Kings – 5, Sunrisers Hyderabad- 2

Stat Attack

396 – Jos Buttler needs four more sixes to complete 400 maximums across all formats in his professional career.

Broadcast details

TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Jalsha (Bengali), Star Maa Movies (Telegu), Star Sports Tamil

Live Streaming– Hotstar & YuppTv

Match Timings: 16:00 IST, 10:30 GMT

For more cricket news and other stories, visit Crictracker.com.

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