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Chennai hope to begin resurgence with a win over Hyderabad

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Hyderabad will be eager to get a win when they face off against Chennai in Dubai on Tuesday. The 2016 Indian T20 League champions lost their last outing against Rajasthan and will be keen to move into the top four in the standings with a victory over the three-time champions.

MS Dhoni’s men, on the other hand, will want to ensure that they put a spanner in the works for Hyderabad as they look for a resurgence in their performances following an uncharacteristically poor Indian T20 League season so far. Chennai’s loss in their last match was their fifth defeat in seven matches this season. 

Needless to say, Chennai have to turn things around soon and can take confidence from the fact that they have come out on top in nine of the 13 encounters between them and Hyderabad. Here’s a closer look at some of the key players and talking points from Tuesday’s match.

Warner and Bairstow need to rediscover 2019 form

Hyderabad openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow were the best opening pair in the 2019 Indian T20 League with the duo managing 1137 runs at a strike rate of 148.82. The ongoing season, though, has seen Warner and Bairstow score 564 at a strike rate of 128.81.

Openers in Indian T20 League 2020

Runs Scored

Batting Strike Rate

Punjab

756

145.09

Mumbai

429

140.34

Delhi

408

137.07

Rajasthan

331

134.75

Hyderabad

564

128.81

Chennai

386

124.15

Bangalore

364

118.79

Kolkata

348

118.57

Hyderabad’s openers’ striker rate of 145.84 in the powerplay – the best in the league last season – has also witnessed a dip in 2020 with Warner and Bairstow going at a strike rate of 116.27, which is the fourth-lowest among teams. Warner’s current strike rate of 125 is his lowest in the Indian T20 League since 2011 and Bairstow’s strike rate of 157.24 from last year has dropped to 133.16 at present, making it imperative for both of them to shine at the top if Hyderabad want to perform at their best.

Teams in PP overs in 2020

Runs Scored

Wickets

Strike Rate

 Boundaries

Mumbai

335

11

127.78%

50

Punjab

324

7

120.87%

41

Delhi

310

10

118.58%

45

Rajasthan

308

14

116.67%

44

Hyderabad

308

5

116.27%

40

Chennai

300

10

111.46%

39

Bangalore

281

8

117.43%

40

Kolkata

263

9

113.36%

43

Thakur a threat with the ball for Chennai

After failing to make it to the playing XI for Chennai’s first three matches of the tournament, Shardul Thakur has gone on to have an instant impact on the team. He has taken seven wickets since breaking into the team – more than any other Chennai bowler since Thakur’s inclusion in the side. Thakur’s form is further accentuated by the fact that after coming into the team, he’s picked up more than two wickets in three consecutive Indian T20 League games for the first time in his career.

His current bowling average of 19.85 and strike rate of 13.71 is also the best he’s ever managed in the Indian T20 League. Furthermore, his ability to pick up quality batsmen comes in handy for Chennai and is highlighted by six of his seven scalps so far being top four positioned batters. Thakur also has an economy of 6.62 and a dot ball percentage of 58.62 against left-handers this season, making his battle against Warner an interesting one to look forward to.

Shardul Thakur's wickets

Rank in Top Run-Scorers List

KL Rahul

1

Shubman Gill

9

Nicholas Pooran

11

Devdutt Padikkal

12

Manish Pandey

13

AB de Villiers

26

Andre Russell

51

Players to watch:

Hyderabad – Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey is Hyderabad’s third-highest scorer this season with 202 runs, but the Indian middle-order batsman has to do better if his team want to post competitive totals. He’s managed two half-centuries and has a strike rate of 124.69 without really setting the tournament ablaze. Hyderabad will want him to be batting at the crease in the death overs and power them to a solid total against the bowlers from Chennai – most of whom he enjoys a healthy strike rate against.

Chennai – MS Dhoni

While nothing that Dhoni has done so far this season suggests that he can be a game-changer, writing him off is a rather dangerous tight rope to walk. The World Cup-winning Indian captain seemed like he was coming into his own in Chennai’s last game but ended up losing his wicket while trying to accelerate. A huge step in the right direction would be promoting himself up the order like he did during the three-time champions’ last match.

Stats to watch out for:

3: Sandeep Sharma needs 3 more wickets to complete 100 Indian T20 League wickets

19: Runs David Warner needs to become the first foreign player and the fourth overall to score 5000 runs in Indian T20 League

30: Runs MS Dhoni needs to complete 4000 runs for Chennai in the Indian T20 League, he will become the second player to do so after Suresh Raina

49: Runs Ambati Rayudu needs to reach 3500 Indian T20 League runs

524: Runs scored by Shane Watson against Hyderabad, his most against any team in the Indian T20 League

Writer’s pick:

Both sides will be under pressure to get a victory and the winner could be the team that copes better with their nerves. Chennai, of course, have plenty of experience and players who have performed in big match situations, which is why we tip Dhoni and his men to register a much-needed win and get their season back on track.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam

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