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In Chennai Super Kings’ previous game against the Mumbai Indians, all was going according to their plan. Their bowlers came good, restricting a star studded Mumbai Indians batting line up to 139 and one would have expected CSK to come out trumps with ease.
However, there was a twist in the tale. What transpired was a batting collapse that caught everyone by surprise as CSK were bowled out for 79, their lowest IPL score and a 60-run defeat that ended their seven-match wining streak.
After a series of victories, bowling Coach Andy Bichel felt, in a way the loss was needed. “When you have seven wins in a row, everything is going well for you and you tend to look at the positives of the game. I think it was probably a loss that we needed. It has really put us back in a position of working hard and finding how we won those matches. There are fantastic players in our team who play with a lot of pride. The loss against Mumbai Indians hurt them pretty bad. It will be a challenge for us to bounce back on Wednesday.”
CSK face an upbeat Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have won all their home matches so far, but Bichel said his team would want to take confidence from the fact that they have done well away from home.
“We have done pretty well so far, winning matches away from home. Hopefully we can continue that trend here in Hyderabad.” One cannot expect scores of 180 being scored in Hyderabad, especially with the kind of wickets at disposal. The venue has been known to stage low scoring games and Bichel felt keeping wickets in hand will be the key.
“I think the wicket here is low and slow and the highest that a side has put up at this venue is just 130. On such a wicket it is a challenge to play and I feel rotating the strike initially with wickets in hand and then launching towards the end of the innings will be an advantage.”
One key member in that CSK line-up has been Michael Hussey. Over five hundred runs with an average of 56 and a century to his name, Hussey has been ‘Mr. Consistent’ for CSK. Bichel hoped Hussey continued the good work.
“Hussey has been brilliant for us especially after retiring from Test cricket. He has a strong focus on T20 cricket now going forward for him. We at CSK have been very lucky to get the response straight away. He has been with CSK for long and hopefully continues what he has done for us this year and in the years to come.”
Sunrisers Hyderabad are on a high this season. They have seven wins out of eleven games, five of them coming at home. Come Wednesday, they will look to extend their winning run against the Chennai Super Kings.
CSK are table toppers at the moment and Sunrisers will want to get those two vital points going into Wednesday’s game. With a win against the Delhi Daredevils in the previous game, SRH coach Tom Moody said, the mood in the camp was oozing with confidence and the team was looking forward to a key contest.
“Our preparation for Wednesday is no different than the preparation for any other match. We are making sure that every player is well prepared physically and mentally and are all looking forward to the contest.”
One of the major highlights for the Sunrisers this year has been their bowling. The likes of Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn and Amit Mishrahave helped the team defend totals as low as 120 and Moody credited their bowling coach Waqar Younis for it.
“Waqar has been a great asset to the side. To have someone of his stature and experience has been of great help for the playing squad and the support staff. He has passed on a lot of wisdom to the players and planned well, given the various surfaces that we have played on. As a player, you have to adjust the way you play and the way you bowl according to the wickets. His formula has been a successful one,” Moody said.
But batting has been an area of concern for the home team, wherein posting big totals on the board has been an issue. The cause of concern has been recognised and attended to, according to the SRH coach.
“We were very aware in our mid tournament review that there are certain areas we needed to sharpen up and the batting is certainly one of them. Our batsmen have had to deal with pretty tough surfaces and if you look at the average of totals in the games that we have played, they have all been relatively low. The pleasing thing for me is that different players have done well on different occasions.
“We did not have Shikhar Dhawan for the first half of the tournament, but now he has come in and played a couple of vital knocks for us. Hanuma Vihari too has done well when it came to building up partnerships with Kumar Sangakkara and so has Darren Sammy. We have batted well in the last couple of games and we are not worried about it.”
Moody also backed their captain Kumar Sangakkara to come good in the tournament. Sangakkara has scored just 117 in his eight innings so far, with a dismal average of just over fourteen.
“We feel Sangakkara is batting pretty well and has been instrumental in stringing important partnerships in the tournament so far. There is no pressure on Sangakkara to perform. We know he is a class act and you know class players tend to step up against class oppositions,” Moody said.
Playing at home, SRH sure know a thing or two about the conditions. Most games here have been low scoring ones, but Moody was confident that it will be an even contest against CSK.
“Everyone is confident playing at home. We have a clear understanding of our strategies at home. The credit should be given to the players who have executed our plans well. I think we will be playing on a new wicket which is a reasonably good surface. I am sure it is going to be a decent surface, were there will be good contest between the bat and ball.”