IPL 2014 – Review of match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

One positive aspect of a long tournament such as the Indian Premier League is that a team, which had been doing well in the initial stages, comes to a grinding halt and one that had been battered in the early going, suddenly finds it feet and starts knocking everyone around. When the game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on May 23 ended, the almighty Chennai Super Kings was humbled and might have been thinking what it did to deserve 3 losses in a row.

Team composition: While Hyderabad went in with the same team that competed in its last game, Chennai brought in John Hastings and Pawan Negi for Ben Hilfenhaus and Ishwar Pandey. They also got David Hussey in after Brendon McCullum flew off to New Zealand to be with his pregnant wife.

Batting: Sunrisers won the toss and opted to bat later. The Super Kings total was built on the back of superb batting displays from MS Dhoni, who top scored with 57 from 41 balls, and David Hussey who scored an unbeaten half century as well (50 from 33 balls) and showed just why he was picked to replace Dwayne Bravo. The other Dwayne – Smith – also gave Super Kings a good start with 47 from 28 balls.

With any other team and with the sort of slow bowling at Super Kings’ disposal this would have been a stiff total. However, when David Warner (90 from 45 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (64 not out from 49 balls) are in form it can make bigger totals and better attacks look silly. Warner started the demolition job and Dhawan acted as the perfect foil to finish the job and see his team home.

Bowling: This was surely not a bowler’s day even by IPL standards. For SRH, Karn Sharma was the best bowler with 2 for 19 from 4 overs. However, every other bowler – Bhuvneshwar Kumar (none for 36), Dale Steyn (none for 43), Parvez Rasool (none for 35) and Irfan Pathan (none for 34 in 3 overs) – came under the pump from the CSK batsmen.

For CSK, Hastings (1 for 29), Ravindra Jadeja (1 for 42 in 3.4 overs) and Suresh Raina (1 for 17 in 2 overs) picked up wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin (none for 29) was economical but the others – Mohit Sharma (none for 33 in 3), and Negi (none for 38) suffered and this meant that yellow brigade could not defend what was a good total.

Where do the teams go from here?

With this win, Sunrisers Hyderabad has kept its playoff hopes alive, at least for now. They have made some good decisions – they have promoted Warner to his usual spot and also relieved Dhawan off captaincy, giving it to Sammy, who normally performs better when he is asked to lead a side. They have also made some changes to their bowling attack to make it more potent. One only wonders why it took them so long to realize their best combination because now the situation is such that if Rajsathan Royals wins the Hyderabad outfit may need to exit the tournament.

Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, would be devastated with their third loss on the trot. They may have already progressed to the playoffs but they are hurting their momentum with the repeated losses. The bowling seems to have lost its sting. May be, now Dhoni could think of rejigging the pace attack by including the likes of Matt Henry and Ashish Nehra, who happens to be a good death bowler. That may take some pressure off Mohit Sharma to keep performing day in and day out as the lead seamer in the team and help the entire unit perform better.

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