A confident Chennai team now move their base to Delhi for the 2021 Indian T20 League as they take on David Warner’s Team Hyderabad at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Wednesday, April 27.
Chennai are on a four-match unbeaten run and are riding high on confidence following their 69-run win over Bangalore. However, same cannot be said for Hyderabad who have won just one of their five matches in the league so far.
The stark contrast between the two teams can be laid down to the fact that Chennai sit at the top of the points table while Hyderabad are at the bottom.
Chennai vs Hyderabad probable playing XI
Chennai made two changes to their squad against Bangalore, with Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir replacing Lungi Ngidi and Moeen Ali in the starting XI. The changes reaped fruits as Chennai put on a dominant display to inflict the first defeat on Bangalore.
For Hyderabad, there are chances that they might welcome Bhuvneshwar Kumar back in the squad. If so, Siddharth Kaul is expected to make way for the veteran Indian pacer. Manish Pandey might also walk into the team, meaning that either Virat Singh or Kedar Jadhav will miss out.
Chennai predicted XI: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali/Dwayne Bravo, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper)Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
Hyderabad predicted XI: David Warner (captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Manish Pandey/Virat Singh, Kane Williamson, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Jagadeesha Suchith, Siddarth Kaul/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed
Chennai vs Hyderabad prediction: Who will win?
Historically, Chennai have dominated Hyderabad more often than not, winning 10 of their 14 meetings against the one-time winners. However, the two teams, have been neck on the neck over the last two editions, winning two games each in four encounters. Even in Delhi, the two teams have a similar record. In a total of eight matches, both of them have won six.
Judging by the current form though, Chennai enter the match as favourites. Unlike last year, their squad is pretty much balanced, while Hyderabad are still searching for their middle-order conundrum. That being said, one can rightly put their money on a Chennai win.
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Top Tip: Best Batsmen
Statistically, opening batsman Robin Uthappa is Chennai’s top scorer against Hyderabad with 509 runs, but Ambati Rayudu isn't much behind either. The middle-order batsman is just four runs away from completing 500 runs against Hyderabad and he has done so at a brilliant average of 45.09.
For Hyderabad, they will hope their captain David Warner continues his brilliant form against Chennai. The Australian opener has scored 482 runs against Chennai in 16 innings at a strike rate of 133.51. He could be the safest bet here.
Top Tip: Best Bowlers
Dwayne Bravo may have failed to pick a wicket against Bangalore last time out, but his record against Hyderabad is simply breathtaking. In a total of 14 innings against them, Bravo has picked 19 wickets and has kept his economy at 8.03.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar in doubt, expect Hyderabad to rely much on Rashid Khan. The Afghanistan leggie does not really have a great record against Chennai, picking just six wickets in eight innings, but he has done so at an exceptional economy of 6.62.
Top Tips: All-Rounder and wicket-keeper
There are a couple of all-rounders to choose from this match but judging by their current form, no one comes close to Chennai’s Ravindra Jadeja. The Indian all-rounder changed the face of the game against Bangalore and was the sole reason why Chennai came out victorious.
For the wicket-keepers, a battle between MS Dhoni and Jonny Bairstow can be a difficult one on the paper, but in reality, the Englishman currently pips the former Indian captain solely because of his form with the bat.
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Featured photo: AFP / Arun Sankar