Chennai, Apr 20 (PTI) Four-time champions Chennai Super Kings will hope their star allrounder Ben Stokes finally takes the field after recovering from his injury when they go up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match here on Friday.
In a relief to CSK, Stokes, who was suffering from a toe injury and missed three IPL matches, took part in the net practice on Wednesday after regaining fitness and is available for selection.
The England Test captain’s return will be a big boost for CSK as they return to their fortress following a close win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Their opponents Hyderabad, however, copped a defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians.
The Super Kings batters have been able to put up good scores, thanks to the starts provided by Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top while the big-hitting Shivam Dube has managed a few impactful knocks.
Ajinkya Rahane has been a revelation, batting with a lot of freedom and going after opposition bowlers, but in an orthodox manner and though the rest of the batters have not done much, the crowd, especially in Chennai, will expect to see a vintage Dhoni uncorking some huge hits.
While the CSK batting unit has been finding the runs, the bowlers have been inconsistent and fielding below par.
Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana did an admirable job in the match against RCB but the same cannot be said of the others, though Tushar Deshpande has got better with each game.
CSK will be wary of the fact that they were trumped in the previous home game by Rajasthan Royals, losing by three runs as the middle-order could not force the pace leaving Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja too much to do at the end.
The Super Kings will look to strangle SRH batters with spin as is their wont and the trio of Theekshana, Jadeja and Moeen Ali could prove more than a handful.
CSK has won four of its last five matches against Hyderabad and the home team would hope to extend the run.
SRH, on the other hand, would be expecting their batting unit to click and the onus would be on captain Aiden Markram to rise to the occasion. The other batters in the line-up need to step up if Hyderabad hope to upset CSK’s applecart at Chepauk.
Loss of wickets in the powerplay has set Sunrisers back and head coach Brian Lara said after the defeat to MI that someone in the middle-order needs to bat deep and finish off games.
The impressive Harry Brook will be the man to watch in the Hyderabad line-up and if he gets going he could prove a handful for the CSK bowlers.
Local lad Washington Sundar, who plays for SRH, will be hoping to get a game and perform well in front at his home ground. He has been up and down while the bowling unit’s inconsistency has hurt their chances.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & WK), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Sisanda Magala, Shivam Dube, Dwaine Pretorius, Ahay Mandal, Nishant Sindhu, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mitchell Santner, Subharnshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh, Matheesa Pathirana, Mahesh Theekshana, Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Shaikh Rasheed, Tushar Deshpande.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Aiden Markram (c), Abdul Samad, Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Washington Sundar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Harry Brook, Mayank Agarwal, Heinrich Klaasen, Adil Rashid, Mayank Markande, Vivrant Sharma, Samarth Vyas, Sanvir Singh, Upendra Yadav, Mayank Dagar, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Akeal Hosein, Anmolpreet Singh.
Match starts: 7:30pm IST.