Daijiworld Media Network
Chennai, Apr 25: Hello and welcome to match 34 of this year's Indian T20 League. Chennai are hosting Hyderabad. Both teams are on 10 points each. Remember, the visitors will be without Thisara Perera and Kumar Sangakkara due to the ban on Sri Lankan players in Chennai while Shikhar Dhawan has been declared fit and is expected to take the field. The home side have won two and lost two at home.
Hyderabad have won the toss and elected to bat.
Dhoni: 'We were looking to bat first as well. The wickets slows down a bit in the second half. But it played well in the last game and hopefully it stays the same today. We are going in with an unchanged squad.'
White: 'We will bat first. The starts have been consistent but not big enough, we need to improve in that aspect. We have made three changes with the biggest one being Shikhar Dhawan coming in.'
Cameron White: 'It has been a good start for us but two crucial games for us on the road now. Dale Steyn has been fantastic, Amit Mishra with all the hat-tricks is doing well as well. We have had a few days off, we have trained hard for this game. Hopefully we will do well.'
MS Dhoni: 'The team looks good as of now. We have got a few injuries. But the guys who have replaced them have done well. We are looking good overall. It's important to switch on and swith off, thankfully I have been able to do it. Once I am off the field I am able to manage it.'
Kris Srikkanth has just confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan will play today.
Ashwin: 'It is always a pleasure to play at home and it is good to have a good fan base. The Purple Cap will end up on my head if I do my job correctly. I do not think about the numbers and I want to do my job. It was the first time I opened the batting (against Kolkata) and I enjoyed it.'
Hyderabad (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Quinton de Kock(w), Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White(c), Darren Sammy, Thalaivan Sargunam, Ashish Reddy, Karan Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma
Chennai (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Morris, S Badrinath, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Mohit Mahipal Sharma
Both, Chennai and Hyderabad have 5 wins each from 7 games. It would be a battle for supremacy for the number two position as the two Southern-India teams clash in Chennai.
Team News: Chennai have played well as a unit. Their top order has been in good form and the middle and lower middle order has come up with splendid cameos at crucial moments. Michael Hussey has been their star with the bat. The bowling has been disciplined with the likes of Mohit Sharma, Chris Morris and R Ashwin not only keeping a tight leash on the batsmen but also making important inroads at critical moments in the match.
In form player: Michael Hussey has been in tremendous form in the tournament. He has hit 305 runs at an average of 76.25 from 6 matches.
Hit: Ravindra Jadeja has been the revelation for Chennai. He has come up with scintillating cameos taking Chennai home on more than one occasion. His strike rate of 169.56 has been simply outstanding while he has also been doing a good job with the ball.
Miss: Murali Vijay hasn't exactly set the house on fire and has been struggling up the order. He has just aggregated 104 from 7 matches. His strike rate has also been poor.
Team form: 5 wins from 7 games, Last encounter: defeated Rajasthan by 5 wickets.
Team News: The batting has been a cause of worry for Hyderabad. None of their top order batsmen have really delivered. However, the bowling has been excellent and that is what has covered for the poor performance of the batsmen. Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma have led the pace attack amicably while leg-spinner Amit Mishra has been their leading wicket taker and has also done a good job of containing the batsmen.
In form player: Hard-hitting all-rounder, Thisara Perera has been the star performer for Hyderabad but he will not be a part of the side as the game is in Chennai.
Hit: Dale Steyn has bowled with fire and pace and rattled the best in the business in the tournament. He has picked up 8 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.46.
Miss: Top order has been a concern for the Hyderabad team. While wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel's repeated failures led to the inclusion of Quinton de Kock, the South African too has failed in impress in his last two outings.
Team form: 5 wins from 7 games, Last encounter: defeated Punjab by 5 wickets.
CB Pick: It would be a contest between Chennai's batsmen and Hyderabad's bowlers. Given the fact that Chennai has a better all-round team and a stronger batting unit coupled with the home crowd support, we ought to go with them as the favourites.