The Indian Premier League match on Wednesday is an interesting one as two champions meet when the former winners, Sunrisers Hyderabad, take on the current holders of the title Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad.
Chennai are making a wonderful defence of their title at present and are the runaway leaders at the top of the table while Sunrisers Hyderabad are struggling by their huge standards and need to arrest their slump soon.
It did look like it was going to be another positive campaign for the Sunrisers Hyderabad when they had three wins in their first four matches but things have gone west since then. They have lost their last three matches with the same problem coming to the fore in each of them. I highlighted it right from the start of the campaign but their middle and lower order is nowhere near good enough and with their openers heading off soon something has to change.
You could understand their struggles if they were regularly having to chase a bucket load but their bowlers are actually coming to the party more and more these days so even that isn’t the case. Whenever you watch the Sunrisers you have to watch behind the sofa if you have cash on them and their openers get out.
Chennai Super Kings
As ever, if you suggested that the Chennai Super Kings were playing lights out cricket you would be wrong but they have a combination and a strategy that nobody seems able, or willing, to counter. They look to keep things tight with the ball at the top of the innings knowing full well that makes sides come at their spinners. That leads to teams losing wickets allowing the Super Kings’ weakness at the death to go unexposed.
The Chennai batting has some improvement left in it as well. Too often it has been left to MS Dhoni to get them over the line and I’m not convinced that is a long-term strategy with overriding benefits. Despite that, Chennai are probably one more win from securing their place in the play-offs even this early in the season so they will need to guard against complacency from here on in.
Sunrisers switched up their bowling attack for their last match but their middle order was still exposed and was still pretty useless so they really need to look at that here. The combination needs to be improved.
Chennai Super Kings are likely to continue to rotate their bowlers from here on in although with Sunrisers only having one left hander in their line up it would be a surprise if Mitchell Santner doesn’t keep his place in the side.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have been bowled out twice in their last three matches and Chennai have the bowling attack to push them very close to three times in four but at the same time I’ve got to think that the Sunrisers’ bowling is good enough to get deep into this Chennai batting line up, which actually doesn’t have a whole lot of out and out depth to it these days.
With that in mind I think the 5/6 on over 12.5 wickets has a little bit of mileage. Five of Chennai’s eight matches this season have yielded more than this number in the wickets column while three of the four here in Hyderabad have. Given that I’m reluctant to trust Chennai in case they take their foot off the ball and I can’t be having this Sunrisers’ batting line up, this looks like a decent enough alternative.
Back Over 12.5 wickets for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway