poona: Pace sensation Umran Malik’s performance will once again be closely watched as Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the struggling Chennai Super Kings in a Indian Premier League game here on Sunday.
Malik was the find of the season, as he outsmarted the best hitters in the world with his brutal pace.
His 5/25 show against Gujarat Titans, albeit in a losing case, is regarded as one of the best bowling shows in IPL history.
Jammu’s right-arm tear-out pacer has become the talk of the ongoing IPL after consistently clocking over 150 mph. He has so far amassed 15 wickets from eight matches with a 12-hour batting rate.
But despite his heroism with the ball, SRH ended up falling five runs short against Gujarat Titans in their last game.
And on Sunday Malik would seek more support from his pacer colleagues Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Marco Jansen and T Natarajan.
Jansen in particular was the culprit as he failed to defend 22 runs from the last over against Gujarat, while Rashid Khan went with hammer and pliers.
The SRH team’s management relied heavily on the veteran Bhuvneshwar to lead the bowling package but he failed to live up to the side’s expectations and would be desperate to prove his critics wrong.
Skipper Kane Williamson’s form has been a source of concern for SRH, but the likes of Abhishek Sharma and Aiden Markram have raised their hands and want to continue their good show.
SRH would also look to Rahul Tripathi and Nicholas Pooran to take on more responsibility with the bat. SRH occupies fourth place in the 10-team table with 10 points from eight games.
In contrast, CSK, which is going through one of their worst IPL campaigns, has to put in cohesive efforts to keep themselves afloat in the tournament.
With just four points in penultimate place, CSK is hanging by a thread in the competition and Malik has a bigger threat waiting for their already floundering batting unit.
CSK’s problems were compounded when they lost to Punjab Kings by 11 runs in their last game. And any further delay from now on could spell the demise of the defending champions.
CSK has been undone by their failure to click in all departments of the game and they would be looking for an inspiring show from new skipper Ravindra Jadeja to reverse their fate.
Jadeja himself would like to get his mojo back with both bat and ball to at least give his side a chance from the outside to make the playoffs, which looks bleak at the moment.
CSK’s batting division has been hit hard by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s flop show and the youngster, considered a prospect for India, would try to correct that in the remaining games.
Veteran Robin Uthappa and all-rounder Shivam Dube also need to get their socks on, while talisman MS Dhoni has shown his genius in patches, notably the final blow against Mumbai Indians.
Ambati Rayudu recently played a brilliant 39-ball 78-run knockout against Punjab, albeit in a losing case and he would seek more support from his best hitters.
Also on the bowling front, CSK has not delivered an exceptional performance, with rookie pacer Mukesh Choudhary struggling all season and Dwaine Pretorius also looking ordinary.
Longtime warhorse Dwayne Bravo was a reliable servant to the team, picking up wickets and Sri Lankan Maheesh Theekshana was a valuable addition to the exhausted squad in the absence of the injured Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (c), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholos Pooran, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Vishnu Vinod, Glenn Phillips, R Samarth, Shashank Singh, Romario Shepherd, Marco Jansen, J Suchith, Shreyas Gopal , Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Saurabh Tiwary, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik and T Natarajan.
Chennai Super Kings: Ravindra Jadeja c), MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayadu, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, Chris Jordan, Adam Milne, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Dwaine Pretorius, Maheesh Theekshana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar , Tushar Deshpande, KM Asif, C Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan, Subranshu Senapati, K Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh and Mukesh Choudhary.
Match starts 7.30pm IST.
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