CSK will have to go all guns blazing in their power-packed Qualifier-1 match against a bowling side that has brought tears in the batsman’s eyes this season. SRH will be eyeing for a victory as well to straightaway advance to the finals and wait for the opposition from Qualifier-2. CSK making it to the playoffs for the 9th consecutive time in IPL history seems to be carrying a lot of experience from their previous encounters about playing under pressure situations and getting the best from the players when needed.
Though both the teams have managed to reach the apex in the points table, there are certain issues that still pertain to both the sides and needs immediate resolve before their faceoff in today’s game.
Positives being that both sides have sufficient firepower with the capability to turn the game on their side in a matter of seconds. CSK have more experienced players on their side which can definitely prove to be advantageous for them. MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu forming a solid batting unit, they will aim to put up a total of 190+ as well.
SRH will be relying on their opening batsmen Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan to get the team to a flying start in the powerplay overs. Backed by Kane Williamson who is currently going through the form of his life, they will be looking for a total of 180+ to give the bowlers something to defend for.
Let’s look at the top 2 player battles that can surface in the Qualifier-1 between CSK and SRH
Sandeep Sharma vs Shane Watson
In their previous encounter with SRH, the former Aussie all-rounder had smashed a 35 ball 57 which included 5-4s and 3-6s against an attack sufficient to break any batsman’s confidence. Tonight he would like to recreate the magic once again and get his team to finals.
This season he has had some amazing numbers as played at an average of 33.69 with a strike rate of 147.47. But playing against an attack which has Sandeep Sharma as an opening bowler won’t be an easy task this time. Sandeep came in as a replacement for injured Bhuvaneswar Kumar and impressed the skipper and the franchise with some amazing numbers.
HIs ability to bowl swinging deliveries really came handy for the team on crucial occasions. But what caught the team’s attention was his highly economical spells against some of the best batting units of IPL. The right arm bowler took 9 scalps in 10 games with an economy of 6.78.
It would be a tight contest between Shane Watson and Sandeep Sharma as to who gets the better of whom in such a high octane match.
Rashid Khan vs MS Dhoni
The captain cool has smashed 446 runs this season at an average of 89.2 with a strike rate of 157.2 silencing his critics once and for all. In the previous game against KXIP, he managed to get par the 4000 run margin. The carnage that Dhoni can inflict on the opposition attack will be something every Dhoni fan would be anxiously waiting for.
His understanding of the game, ability to rotate strikes under pressure situations will be put to test today. The experience that he brings in will surely help his side reach the finals one more time, making a unique record of itself in IPL history.
But Dhoni’s hard-hitting abilities haven’t been a trouble for the leg spinners. This is something that Rashid Khan, the Afghani leg-spinner will try to get the most of. Though he has gone wicket-less in the previous 3 games, his ability to spin the game away from opposition team has been a constant since last season.
His ability to change the pace and length of the deliveries has kept the batsmen puzzled on many occasions. Rashid has been very successful in toying with the best batting units by giving in deceiving deliveries and decimating them to low totals.
However, if Dhoni stays in the middle and looks in good touch with the bat, then he can easily rip the bowlers apart regardless of the line and length they bowl.
let’s see who gets to win between CSK and SRH in the Qualifier-1 and prance off to the finals. May the best team win !