CSK vs SRH: 3 player battles to watch out for

Shardul Thakur will be keen to make an impression this season.
Shardul Thakur will be keen to make an impression this season.
Pratyush Rohra

The IPL frenzy shifts to the national capital for its next phase. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi on Wednesday (28th April).

Two sides with contrasting fortunes are set to go head to head for the first time this year in a contest that promises to be an exciting watch for the spectators.

CSK come into this match on the back of a convincing victory against a formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore side, while SRH lost a nail-biter in the Super Over against the Delhi Capitals.

With SRH set to face CSK on a surface that is expected to be slow and helpful to the bowlers, we take a look at key player battles that we could witness.

1. Kane Williamson vs Shardul Thakur

Kane Williamson comes into this game on the back of a valiant unbeaten 66 for SRH, against DC.
Kane Williamson comes into this game on the back of a valiant unbeaten 66 for SRH, against DC.

Kane Williamson has a commendable record against CSK, having mustered up 301 runs in 8 innings at an average of 43 and a strike rate of 139.35. The calm and composed Kiwi marked his return to the side with a valiant knock against Delhi.

Williamson has had his troubles against Shardul Thakur in the recent past. The "Palghar Express", who now has 50 IPL wickets to his name, has created problems for the Kiwi skipper with his variations. The SRH stalwart has faced 33 balls from Thakur, aggregating 38 runs while being dismissed twice.

Shardul has had an ordinary start to his tournament with just four wickets to his name and will be keen to have the upper hand on the Kiwi skipper, who is yet to be dismissed in the tournament. The medium pacer will look to come out on top once again, in a contest that should come about in the middle overs.

2. SRH captain David Warner vs Deepak Chahar

The stage is set for David Warner to reassert his dominance on opposition bowlers, as Hyderabad look to recover from a dreadful start to their season. The SRH skipper has mustered 348 runs against CSK, including five 50-plus scores, in eight innings at a strike rate of 151.97.

He will have his task cut out against CSK's spearhead Deepar Chahar, who is in fine form with the new ball. The medium-pacer is the leading wicket-taker for his side, with eight wickets to his name.

Warner's vulnerability against pacers coming around the wicket is no secret and with Chahar's ability to swing the ball both ways early on, the Australian could be in for a stern test as he tries to find some form.

3. Suresh Raina vs Rashid Khan

Suresh Raina has been CSK's ‘Mr Reliable’ over the years, with crucial knocks that have held his team’s innings together. The southpaw has a good record against SRH, having aggregated 518 runs at a strike rate of 141.9 and an average of 32.4.

Raina returned to CSK after missing out on the previous season due to personal reasons. The introduction of Moeen Ali has seen Raina take on a new role in the team, one which perhaps allows him to play more freely.

While Raina's weakness against the short-ball is well documented, it's Rashid Khan's leg-spin that has asked him the more pertinent questions. The Afghan has dismissed him three times in 34 balls, while giving away 46 runs.

On a track that should offer some assistance to the slower bowlers, SRH's frontline spinner will look to dominate CSK batsmen with his guile.

Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule
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