Fresh from a thumping win over Rajasthan Royals (RR), a confident Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 20th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai side hammered Rajasthan by 64 runs on Friday at home before narrowly missing a win against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
Table toppers CSK, who have returned to the cash-rich league after a two-year gap following a spot-fixing scandal, have once again proved why they are one of the title favourites.
Before losing to KXIP, the yellow brigade pulled a couple of wins from the jaws of defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
The best part for Chennai is that most of their batters have fired whenever the situation demanded.
While Dwayne Bravo (68 of 30) and Sam Billings' (56 of 23) brilliant knocks handed CSK a nail-biting win against MI and KKR respectively, skipper Dhoni (79 off 44) was almost about to pull a win against Punjab in a high-scoring clash.
Opener Ambati Rayudu has also amassed 122 runs from four outings averaging 30.50.
In their previous match, it was Australian buy Shane Watson whose scintillating knock of 106 runs propelled CSK to a massive total. Also, Chennai's most dependable batsman Suresh Raina, who made a comeback after undergoing a calf injury, also looked good for his 29-ball 46 against RR.
In the bowling department, all-rounder Watson has led from the front, scalping six wickets from four games with an economy rate of 7.38. Also, pacer Shardul Thakur and leggie Imran Tahir have stricken at regular intervals, bagging five and four wickets respectively.
On the other hand, the Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad is at the third spot in the points table with three wins from four games.
On paper, SRH possess one of the strongest batting lineups with Wriddhiman Saha
and in-form Shikhar Dhawan as openers followed by skipper Williamson along with Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, and Shakib Al Hasan.
However, in their last outing against KXIP, their batters failed in chasing a high total.
Meanwhile, with the likes Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul and Shakib Al Hasan, their bowling unit looks world-class. Both Bhuvneshwar and Kaul have bagged five and six wickets respectively.
Also, Bhuvneshwar and Kaul have maintained a decent economy rate of 6.75 and 7.25 respectively. Rashid has so far bowled the most dot balls in the league.
Overall, it could once again be an edge of the seat encounter for fans when the two best side of the league face off on a Sunday evening.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket-keeper), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson (captain), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T. Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.