Not many would have expected the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to be the two sides languishing at the bottom of the table, a quarter of the way into the league phase of IPL 2020.
Yet, here we are. While CSK seemed to start well after a big win over the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians, things haven’t been all hunky-dory since. Defeats in consecutive matches have seen the intent of both the team, and captain MS Dhoni, being questioned.
While the lack of competition from the three-time champions can be put down to rust, more games like these could see the Chennai franchise out of the running for the playoffs sooner rather than later.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, faced defeat in their first two games. The first of those failures came from what has to be regarded as a winning position against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Needing 43 to win off 30 balls with eight wickets in hand, SRH somehow crashed to a 10-run defeat by the end of the match.
A limp, almost lifeless, performance against the Kolkata Knight Riders later, and a lot of questions were being asked about the absence of World Cup finalist and New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson.
The right-hander’s return to the fold at SRH also saw the team’s return to winning ways against the high-flying Delhi Capitals. The victory was not enough to elevate them into the top half of the table but a win against MS Dhoni’s men tonight would do just that.
With a ticket to the top four places at stake, we could be in for an exciting CSK v SRH match when the two teams clash later in the day.
IPL 2020: CSK v SRH Match Prediction
History suggests that the Chennai franchise will dominate this game. In 12 encounters between the two teams, CSK have held a 9-3 head-to-head record over the years. Four of those nine wins have come in a single season, back in IPL 2018.
But, if there is anything that the IPL has taught us, it is its own unpredictability. From Rajasthan Royals winning the trophy in the inaugural season, to the Mumbai Indians dragging the RCB game into the Super Over after needing 81 on 24 on Monday, the Indian Premier League has been all kinds of unpredictable over the years.
And yet, here we are, trying to predict what will happen when CSK and SRH, two teams that seem matched in their misery so far in the tournament, face off later today.
The Sunrisers, to begin with, seem to have brought some stability into what seemed like a non-existent middle-order in the early days of the tournament. Their batting line-up suddenly looks much more sound with the re-emergence of the nicest guy in world cricket, Kane Williamson.
Add to that, the understanding between the wickets and the big-hitting capabilities shared by David Warner and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order, and the SRH line-up looks that much stronger than it did when the team took to the field against RCB in their season opener.
However, the inclusion of three top-class overseas players in their top and middle-order sees the bowling department running a little thin.
CSK, however, are likely to be boosted by the return of Ambati Rayudu, who won the ‘Man of the Match’ award when they beat Mumbai in the season opener. MS Dhoni’s men could also bring Dwayne Bravo into the mix of things as they look to turn things around before they head into an early-tournament abyss that can prove challenging to get over.
That said, the David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad are high on confidence and will be looking to ride on their newfound momentum, and register a win over the second-most successful franchise in IPL history, on their way to a place in the top half of the table.
Prediction: SRH to win today.Published 02 Oct 2020, 12:24 IST