Bookmakers had Sunrisers Hyderabad in second place and Chennai Super Kings in third place to win the IPL 2020 Championship. Both teams had good track records in the IPL and were expected to pose the biggest challenge to defending champs the Mumbai Indians.
CSK Have Multiple Areas To Fix
CSK have been the biggest rival to the Mumbai Indians in the history of the IPL. The two franchises squared off in the opening game and it was the men in yellow who came out victorious as they rallied as a team to overpower the Mumbai Indians.
It was a special win for CSK who were playing without their veterans Suresh Raina and H Singh. CSK had also had to deal with COVID-19 issues but appeared to have put all that behind them with their win. However, all is not well in the CSK camp as they lost their next two games against Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 16 runs and Delhi Capitals by 44 runs.
CSK were able to get a win in their first game thanks to a man of the match award performance by A Rayudu. However, a hamstring injury ruled him out for the next two games and exposed the struggling CSK batting order. M Vijay has looked out of form and S Watson hasn’t managed to kick on and get a big score. Faf du Plessis has looked to the best batsman in the CSK squad in the last two games but needs support from the middle order.
MS Dhoni has baffled everyone with his decision to come in at 6 or 7 in the tournament so far. CSK coach Stephen Fleming has said that MS Dhoni has preferred to give the younger members a chance to bat higher up the orders since MS Dhoni does not have a lot of practice under his belt.
This strategy isn’t working for CSK as Dhoni needs to get to the middle earlier and take charge of the innings. Whether Dhoni still has the ability to dominate and finish a game has been under question for the last 2 years. That ability will continue to under the spotlight if MSD chooses to continue to bat at 6 or 7.
The absence of H Singh is also showing as the pressure has been put on R Jadeja to step up and so far he has failed. Jadeja has been very expensive so far and if he continues to go for runs, CSK will have to think of an alternative.
CSK needs to win back to back games and move themselves back into the top 4 teams on the points table.
David Warner Needs To Take Charge
Sunrisers have had a poor start to the tournament losing their first two games. Their first game was close one with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) which they lost by 10 runs but their second game was rather one sided when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ended up winning by 7 wickets
SRH have struggled because they have not got a lot off runs from D Warner’s bat. The Sunrisers captain was run out in the first game and in the second got out on 36 just as he was looking to get going.
SRH have been unable to up the tempo in the middle order which is why they have struggled to get past 155 runs in both games. SRH lack the firepower in the middle and lower order which is why either David Warner or J Bairstow need control the innings and make big scores.
If CSK and SRH end up having another poor week of action, they will then find it difficult to make the playoffs.