The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have got off to contrasting starts in their IPL 2021 campaigns. CSK have a chance to go top of the table, while SRH are dangling at the bottom of the table, needing some wins under their belt quickly if they are to make it to the playoffs.
CSK beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their top-of-the-table clash, and will be looking to make it five wins on the trot, to regain the top spot in the points table.
Having lost their previous match against the Delhi Capitals in a thrilling super over, SRH will be eager to bounce back with a win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi, on Wednesday (28th April).
CSK are now second in the points table with a game in hand. The Chennai-based franchise historically have the upper hand in this contest, having won 10 of their 14 games so far. They will be keen to keep their winning momentum going against an SRH side that has struggled to find the right balance in their playing eleven.
The pitch in Delhi is expected to be slow and helpful to the bowlers. The spinners should enjoy the slow nature of the track, something both these teams won't mind. On that note, we take a look at three bowlers who could make have the biggest say in today's game.
1. Imran Tahir (CSK)
Veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been quite the typical CSK recruit. The South African has played just one match in this year's edition, repaying the management's faith with a couple of wickets at an economy of just four runs an over.
Conditions are expected to favour the spinners in Delhi and the venue is one the leg-spinner will likely enjoy. In the eleven matches Tahir has played on this ground, he's bagged 17 wickets at an economy of 7.33 and an average of 15.5.
Tahir does not have a great record against SRH, only picking up 5 wickets in 6 innings, but his economy rate has consistently been under 8 per over. With conditions in his favour against a middle order that has had its own struggles, Tahir could be in for a couple of his darting celebratory runs around the ground.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed out on the previous game with a hamstring strain, and his return to the side will be welcomed by the SRH camp. The Indian pacer has had a lean run in the tournament so far, with only 3 wickets to his name at an uncharacteristic economy rate of just over 9.
Generally a bowler who relies on the early movement on offer from the surface, the Meerut-born bowler could get some help in Delhi. Bhuvneshwar has only 10 wickets in 14 matches against CSK, but he's got them at an excellent economy rate of 6.59.
However, match-ups suggest that Bhuvneshwar could be in for a much-needed rekindling should he return from injury. The former purple cap holder has got the better of Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu twice and thrice respectively, while also accounting for Faf du Plessis once before. SRH will hope his return can bolster their squad in a bid to take control of the CSK innings.
With Natarajan already ruled out of the tournament, SRH will hope to have their pace spearhead back in contention soon.
3. Dwayne Bravo
West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been a critical part of CSK's death bowling over the years with his smart change of pace to deceive many a talented batsman. While the veteran only has three wickets to his name so far, he has continued to remain reasonably economical at 7.72 runs an over. Additionally, Bravo has tasted plenty of success against SRH.
In 14 games against the side from Hyderabad, Bravo has 19 wickets to his name with plenty of match-ups in his favor. He's had the better of David Warner and Manish Pandey a couple of times, while Williamson has also fallen prey to the all-rounder in the past.
The likes of Mohammed Nabi and Jason Holder have also fallen victim to the champion bowler thrice, and Bravo will only be looking to improve that stellar record against SRH.