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Experience of Chennai could overpower Hyderabad’s flamboyance

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Last updated on 20 Apr 2023 | 12:32 PM
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Experience of Chennai could overpower Hyderabad’s flamboyance

SRH have a terrible record at the Chepauk, having won only one of their eight encounters

Chennai Super Kings love playing against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Men in Yellow have won 13 of their 18 encounters against the Orange Army. The win percentage of 72.2 is Chennai’s best against any opponent in the history of the Indian Premier League. In fact, it’s the best for any IPL franchise against an opponent (minimum of 10 games).  

Hyderabad were touted as one of the pre-tournament favourites but Aiden Markram and Co. have been way below-par this season, having lost three of their five games. They did win back-to-back games but then went down to Mumbai Indians. On paper, Hyderabad look one of the strongest, but the reality has been completely different.

Meanwhile, Chennai arguably have the worst bowling attack but have still managed to win three out of five matches. That’s the thing about MS Dhoni and his men, they know how to get over the line, exactly like what they did against Royal Challengers Bangalore. They are now back in their den and would want to continue their dominance at home. 

Things to watch out for

Jadeja’s batting is a concern, bowling not so much

Many people were perplexed when Jadeja walked out to bat ahead of Dhoni in the 18th over against Bangalore, considering the latter has been in stunning six-hitting form. It’s not just what Dhoni has been doing of late, Jadeja’s form with the bat has been terrible. In IPL since 2022, the left-hander has scored 155 runs in 14 innings @ 17.22 and a strike rate of 120.2.

In only six of those 14 innings, Jadeja has operated at a strike rate of more than 100. Against Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy stadium, the 34-year-old could only score 10 off 8 despite being given a couple of full-tosses and free-hits. Amongst batters who have scored at least 30 runs in the death overs (16-20) in this edition, Jadeja (127.6) has the worst strike rate. 

Jadeja’s bowling, however, has been quite good this season. The left-arm spinner has scalped six wickets in five innings at an economy of 7.1 and a strike rate of 17. What’s notable is his record against left-handers this season. Against them in IPL 2022, Jadeja had an economy of 8.2 and didn’t take a single wicket despite bowling 13.3 overs, but this year, he has managed three scalps in 5.3 overs at an economy of 6.9. And he has been able to do that because he has hardly bowled the stump line.

Time to look beyond Agarwal?

309 runs in 17 innings at an average of 18.18 and a strike rate of 117 - Mayank Agarwal has been very mediocre since last season. In five innings this year, Agarwal has not had a strike rate of more than 118 in any game. He did get 48 off 41 against Mumbai Indians but never looked comfortable. What’s worse, his record against CSK isn’t inspiring at all.

The right-hander has just 260 runs in 16 innings at an average of 16.1, which is his worst against an IPL opponent. Agarwal has been struggling a lot against spinners in IPL since last year. He has been dismissed nine times out of 12 innings against spin and has an average of 10.6, which is the lowest for a batsman in this time period.

What Hyderabad could do is promote Abhishek Sharma up the order and partner him with Harry Brook. The Englishman enjoys pace, while Abhishek can take down any spinner. The left-right combination makes it even better. SRH can then slot in Samarth Vyas in the middle-order. The Saurashtra batter had a phenomenal Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, smashing 314 runs at a staggering strike rate of 177.4.

Ground details

This is Chepauk we are talking about, spinners have had their fair share of fun, but there have been runs on offer as well. This season, the batters here have scored runs at an average of 27.5 and a scoring rate of 9.6, while a wicket has fallen every 17.1. Unsurprisingly, spinners (average 19.3, economy rate 8.1, balls/wicket 14.3) here have way better numbers than fast bowlers (average 40.7, economy rate 10.7, balls/wicket 22.9). 

Tactical nous

- Ajinkya Rahane has set the IPL 2023 on fire, with a strike rate of 222.2 in the first six overs, but will have to be careful against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The right-handed batter has gotten out to Bhuvi six times in the IPL, which is the most for a bowler against Rahane. He averages just 15 against him and has a strike rate of 87.

- Chennai could use Akash Singh against Rahul Tripathi. In IPL since 2021, the No. 3 batter averages more than 33 against each bowling type except left-arm pace. Against them, Tripathi has an average of 19.5 and a strike rate of 124.5 in 18 innings.

Probable XIs

Chennai Super Kings

Bat first - Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Maheesh Theekshana/Mitchell Santner, Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana.

Bowl first - Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Maheesh Theekshana/Mitchell Santner, Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana, Akash Singh.

Sunrisers Hyderabad 

Bat first - Mayank Agarwal, Harry Brook, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Washington Sundar, Marco Jansen/Akeal Hosein/Fazalhaq Farooqi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande.

Bowl first - Mayank Agarwal, Harry Brook, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Abhishek Sharma, Washington Sundar, Marco Jansen/Akeal Hosein/Fazalhaq Farooqi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan.

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