Three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings are struggling this year. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team has been completely off-colour so far, having suffered five defeats in seven games. The team is placed seventh on the points table with four points.
On Tuesday, CSK will face David Warner's SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and have no choice but to deliver to keep their playoff hopes alive. The fixture will take place at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, a venue where the chasing teams have won only twice in this year's IPL.
To fix a spot in the play-offs, teams need to win 8 of their matches. And Chennai, who has only won two, will have to win their remaining six out of seven games.
While many CSK fans are worried about their favourite team's qualification, we must point out that the 'Yellow Brigade' was in an exactly similar situation back in 2010, which was eventually overturned. This year, the team is starting to get back in shape, specially the top-order. But, the instability in the middle-order still proves to be a problem for Dhoni.
While Chennai's game against Hyderabad is not a do-or-die quest, the challenge to bring back their campaign still remains a big task. Will Dhoni and Co work their way around the ongoing IPL?
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(C), Jonny Bairstow(Wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddarth Kaul, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, Shreevats Goswami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jason Holder, Bavanaka Sandeep, Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Virat Singh, Sanjay Yadav, Prithvi Raj Yarra
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, MS Dhoni(C & Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Josh Hazlewood, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, KM Asif
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (Wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, N Jagadeesan, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Curran, MS Dhoni (C & Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings Dream11 Picks:
Shane Watson, David Warner, Faf du Plessis, Priyam Garg, MS Dhoni (C & Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Rashid Khan, Karn Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(C), Jonny Bairstow(Wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(C & Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Karn Sharma
The game begins!
Wait, Sam Curran is opening the batting?
Yes, you heard that right. Another batting experiment from MS Dhoni. Shane Watson is padded up, and will come in a Number 3!
Sam Curran and Faf du Plessis are at the crease. Curran is on strike. Sandeep Sharma will open the attack for SRH!
Score after 5 overs: CSK (39-2)
Chennai Super Kings got a chance to bat first after 10 matches and their first five overs have not been the best. After shuffling the batting order to send all-rounder Sam Curran as opener with Faf du Plessis, worked but only to some extent. The 22-year-old was dismissed after scripting five boundaries which included two maximums.
Sam Curran b Sandeep Sharma 31(21) [4s-3 6s-2]
Faf du Plessis, meanwhile, is not able to provide stable batting to his side. In the beginning of the tournament, du Plessis was Chennai's most consistent performer but things have changed. The batsman has not played a threatening innings in last four matches.
Now, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson are on the crease.
Score after 15 overs: CSK (116-2)
Watson and Rayudu have built a brilliant partnership of 81 runs in 62 balls.
The chase begins!
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are at the crease. Warner is on strike. Chahar will open the attack for CSK!