Table toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) witnessed back-to-back losses for the first time in Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2019 and would want to put their journey back on track with a win against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), when the two sides meet in Chennai on Tuesday. SRH have regained a bit of momentum with two wins in their last two games, after their lackluster performance in recent weeks which saw them lose three on the trot, and would want to solidify their place in top-four.
The biggest worry for both teams is that their batting units have not performed collectively. For CSK it is their top order which hasn't performed while SRH have been marred by their middle order.
For CSK last season's hero Shane Watson (147 runs), Ambati Rayudu (192) and Suresh Raina (207) haven't lived up to expectations. The pressure has been entirely on Dhoni, who leads the charts with 314 runs and the batting unit needs to step up.
"The top three needs to finish more matches," Dhoni said after CSK's one-run loss to RCB on Sunday. Back at its den after a schedule of away games, Dhoni's men will be slight favourites as it will be Jonny Bairstow's last game for the last year's runners-up as he heads back to England for World Cup preparations.
The Chepauk pitch has been sluggish in the games played so far and coach Stephen Fleming attributed it to being one of the reasons for top-order's poor show.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan, Scott Kuggeleijn.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (capt), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami, Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem.
(With PTI inputs)