We are down to the final week of IPL 2018 and in its first game, Sunrisers Hyderabad will face the Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. This will be the match of the top two teams at the Points Table and the winner will directly qualify for the finals.
Though Sunrisers Hyderabad finished at the the pole position but they have entered the playoffs on the bank of three consecutive losses. This won’t be giving them confidence as they are up against the team against whom they lost both their matches this season.
The positives for them is the performance of their top order batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson who have scoring runs on a consistent basis. Their middle order batting is quite an issue. Though, Manish Pandey has done well in few matches but has not looked that confident. Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan has done well in bowling and so have Siddarth Kaul but the form of their vice captain, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a problem as he has taken only eight wickets in the 9 matches that he played.
Chennai Super Kings who were looking an aged team before the start of the tournament and no one expected them to do this well. But under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, they have done extremely well as a team where everyone contributing in some match. Ambati Rayudu has been star performer as the opener has amassed 586 runs in 14 matches and is placed at the fourth position in the race of Orange Cap.
MS Dhoni has also done well in the middle order and it’s one of the finest IPL season for him. Players like Watson and Raina have done well in batting while Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur in bowling. Their death bowling is a major concern as Dwayne Bravo is consistently not doing well there and so has been the form of Sam Billings in the middle overs.
The possible changes in both the sides are that Alex Hales might come back in place of Carlos Brathwaite as the all-rounder failed to perform in the last match. CSK also might drop Billings and Faf may play instead of him in the middle order.