Sunrisers face stiff challenge against CSK
Enjoying an unbeaten run at home, Sunrisers Hyderabad face a stiff challenge when they take on former champions and table-toppers Chennai Super Kings in a Pepsi IPL match in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Sunrisers have 14 points from 11 matches. Victory on Wednesday will take them closer to a berth in the IPL semi-finals.
Chennai Super Kings, who won the title twice before, are at the top of the points table despite a humiliating defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their previous match.
After winning a record-equalling seven matches in a row, CSK endured a miserable outing in Mumbai, where Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men were sent packing for a paltry 80, the season's lowest team total.
It came as a wake-up call for CSK, who are expected to bounce back immediately given the presence of high-profile and in-form players in their ranks.
Image: Sunrisers Hyderabad players
'Good wake-up call for us'
In an indication of his team's readiness to learn from mistakes quickly, Dhoni expressed happiness that the defeat came during the round-robin stage.
"I think it was a good wake-up call for us. With a few more games to go, we got it at the right time," Dhoni said.
Chennai's batting line-up, comprising Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and Dhoni, is the envy of all IPL teams.
In the bowling department, CSK boast of Albie Morkel, Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Morris and Dwayne Bravo. All of them have done their bit and will be quite a handful for the Hyderabad batsmen.
However, Hyderabad have also been impressive, especially at home. With their collective effort, they clinched thrilling wins against formidable teams such as Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Image: MS Dhoni walks back
Perera useful with both ball and bat
Sunrisers undoubtedly have the best bowling attack in the form of the world's top bowler Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra, who is among the highest wicket-takers in IPL VI.
The in-form Karan Sharma has also added to the bowling strength.
Batting had been a major area of concern for the Hyderabad side, but that has also shown marked improvement after injured Shikhar Dhawan and West Indies Captain Darren Sammy joined the team and struck form immediately.
Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera is quite useful with both ball and bat, and young Hyderabad batsman G H Vihari chipped in with some significant contributions.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara's poor batting, however, continues to be a massive headache.
The Teams (from):
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara (C ), Cameron White, Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn,Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, D B Ravi Teja, G H Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Karan Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Pathiv Patel, Prasant Padmanabhan, Quinton de Cock, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, T Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh.
Chennai Super Kings: M S Dhoni (Captain), Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Srikkanta Anirutha, Ankit Rajpoot, Baba Aparajith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Chris Morris,Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Imtiyaz Ahmed,Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay,Nuwan Kulasekara, R Karthikeyan, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar and Wridhiman Saha.
Image: Thisara Perera