CSK takes on Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must win situation

Chennai, Apr 27 (UNI) Eyeing to defend the title and aiming for a record sixth crown, favourites Chennai Super Kings (CSK) started their 2024 IPL edition with a bang wining all the three home matches and emerged on top of the leaderboard.

However, after that things did not go as per the plan as CSK lost two away matches.

It managed to win one against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede, with talismanic MS Dhoni’s unbeaten cameo of 20–the CSK’s winning margin– proving to be difference in the end.

But it lost both the away and home matches to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). In fact in its home match against LSG on Tuesday last, CSK, asked to bat first scored 200-plus total, thanks to skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad’s century.

It was well poised to win at the halfway stage, before Aussie Marcus Stoinis’ powerful century dented CSK hopes and crashed to fourth defeat.

CSK is now languishing in the fifth position on the points table with four wins and four losses in eight matches (eight points).

If Delhi Capitals wins today’s contest against Mumbai Indians it will move to fifth place with 10 points pushing CSK to the sixth position and a place in play-off in question.

CSK will be taking on Sunrisers Hyderabad (placed third in table with 10 points) in a must win game at M.A.Chidambaram Stadium in its fifth home match on Sunday.

It was crucial contest as CSK needed nothing short of a win to keep its play-off hopes alive and needed to win most of its remaining matches as the tournament reached the business end.

The main concern for the CSK, which will be relying on the home advantage once again, was the performance of the bowlers, that proved to be its undoing especially in the last match.

Though they picked wickets in the middle overs, conceding runs in the death overs was a cause of worry and the team management needs to address this issue without any delay in getting its playing combination right.

Though Gaikwad has scored over 330 runs, with two half centuries and a century so far and was in fine nick, the form of another batting mainstay Ajinkya Rahane, who was fitted into the opening slot, was yet another cause of concern as that of Daryl Mitchell.

Shivam Dube has been the successful impact player and contributions by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, besides small cameos in the last overs by Dhoni augured well for the team.

Sunrisers on the other hand, despite losing its last match rather tamely, was in best of form having rattled up scores in excess of 250 and has registered big wins.

SRH had made history by scoring the highest IPL total ever, scoring an astonishing total of 287/3 in 20 overs against RCB. This incredible performance was led by opener Travis Head, who achieved the fourth fastest century in IPL history.

Such was the form of the Sunrisers batters, who could turn the contest on its head in a matter of 2-3 overs.

The CSK bowlers faces a stern test on this front and needs to restrict them as the wicket is expected to be a slow turner and the spinners being the key.

Leftarm spinner Michael Santner was yet to be tested and it remains to be seen whether he would be drafted into the side, though Jadeja and Moeen Ali, besides Theekshana having performed decently so far.

A victory for SRH on the morrow will catapult it to the second place in the points table behind leaders Rajasthan Royals, which is sitting pretty with 14 points with play-off berth almost certain.

In a bid to stay in the reckoning for the play-offs, the CSK has to get back to winning ways as they next face Punjab Kings at home on the May day.

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