Their unbeaten run in the tournament snapped by the ‘Gayle Storm’, Sunrisers Hyderabad would look to bounce back when they take on Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Both the Sunrisers and the Super Kings have six points each from four matches, having lost just one game so far, and a win by either side at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal will take them to the top of the table.
The Sunrisers began their IPL campaign with three wins on the trot before they were stopped on their tracks by West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle, who played a special innings of 104 not out off 64 balls at Mohali on Thursday.
The Kane Willamson-led side will have to forget the battering of his bowlers by Gayle and quickly regroup against the Super Kings who, despite having to shift their home venue to Pune due to the Cauvery water dispute, have been doing very well.
After winning their first two matches, the Super Kings slumped to a defeat against Kings XI Punjab before bouncing back with a 64-run win over Rajasthan Royals on Friday on the back of smashing century (106 from 57 balls) from veteran Australian Shane Watson.
Watson has been in fine touch with both the bat and ball, thereby proving his utility as a top-class all-rounder. He is currently the top scorer and top wicket-taker for CSK but on Sunday he will be up against one of the most balanced sides in this IPL.
All the front line bowlers of the Sunrisers — Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake and Shakib-al-Hasan — have been among the top wicket-takers so far this season though young Afghan spinner Rashid Khan is struggling a bit with just three wickets from four matches. He was taken to the cleaners by Gayle in their last match, conceding 55 runs for one wicket.
Kaul has six wickets while Kumar, Stanlake and Shakib have taken five wickets each.
For CSK, Watson is the top bowler with six wickets to his name. Man to man, the Sunrisers have been a better side in the bowling department. In fact, they are touted as the most balanced bowling unit of this IPL.
In the batting department, the Super Kings have a lot of depth. They have batsmen who can play shots well up to the number seven spot. Watson has been leading the charge but Ambati Rayudu and captain and stalwart Mahendra Singh Dhoni are also doing a decent job with the bat.
But Englishman Sam Billings and West Indian Dwayne Bravo have not done much after hitting a half century each, and both would be looking to do better, going ahead.
For the Sunrisers, Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan are the main batsmen in their side. They have been playing that role very well so far though Dhawan had to retire hurt in their last match against Kings XI Punjab after being hit by the ball on his elbow.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan Arman, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Sandeep Sharma, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi Eisakhil, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, T. Natarajan, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Ricky Bhui, Sachin Baby, Tanmay Agarwal.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, K M Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.