Toss: chose to bat vs Chennai Super Kings
David Warner won the toss and the Sunrisers Hyderabad chose to bat first against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in Match 23 of IPL 2021. This is the first match of the tournament at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
When asked for the reasoning behind his decision, Warner said, “Because we haven’t done it yet.” The Sunrisers have chased in each of their five games so far, winning only once. Dhoni said he would have bowled first anyway, because his side expected dew later on.
Both sides made a couple of changes each. The Sunrisers brought back Manish Pandey and Sandeep Sharma, leaving out Virat Singh and Abhishek Sharma in what Warner called a fallback on experienced players; following Pandey’s dropping in the last game, Warner had said it was a harsh call made by the team’s selectors.
For the Super Kings, Moeen Ali was back to full fitness and thus back in the XI, while Lungi Ngidi was also included based on the conditions. The ones to miss out were Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was still not back to full fitness for the Sunrisers, having missed their previous game too.
“Looks like a different surface than what we’ve seen in Delhi of late. Nice grass covering,” Warner said. “Hopefully we can put up a total and win a game. Chasing games in Chennai, we just missed out, the wicket was challenging and if you lost wickets in the middle, it became tougher. It’s about experience for us at the moment, so Virat Singh and Abhishek Sharma miss out and Manish Pandey and Sandeep Sharma come in.”
Dhoni said that the dew had been very heavy in the team’s practice session on match eve.
“We were looking to bowl first. It’s a bit tacky to start off and the boys who practiced yesterday said there was a lot of dew,” Dhoni said. “Whenever there is chance of dew, we prefer to chase. Bowling in conditions where there is dew and less support for bowlers is the only area we’d want to improve. We were slightly slow in the first game but then we’ve picked it up.”
Victory here will push the Super Kings back to the top of the points table, where they are second right now with eight points from five games. The Royal Challengers Bangalore are the table leaders with 10 points from six games. For the Sunrisers, this is an opportunity to lift themselves off the bottom of the table, where they are the only ones with just two points.
The Super Kings are coming into this game on the back of a rousing win against the Royal Challengers, led by an all-round show from Ravindra Jadeja. The Sunrisers, on the other hand, come here having lost a Super Over clash to the Delhi Capitals.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Sam Curran, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Lungi Ngidi
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 J Suchith, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Siddarth Kaul, 11 Khaleel Ahmed
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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