Chennai (madras) For The Comfort Of The House, That After The Two Losses > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Chennai seek home comfort after twin losses

If there's one team that can hit CSK hard on slow pitches, it's SRH.

It's been a long time on the road for the Chennai Super Kings. After having ambushed the Knight Riders by seven wickets on April 9, MS Dhoni's men set out on an India tour - starting from Jaipur, moving onto Kolkata, then Hyderabad before landing in Bengaluru. It was also a period where they have been found out slightly - or at least the opposition believe so. The travels started off well, with two convincing wins against the Rajasthan Royals and the Kolkata Knight Riders, but in the absence of MS Dhoni, they hit a bumpy road against the rejuvenated Sunrisers from Hyderabad before falling to their narrowest ever defeat in the history of the Indian Premier League - a one-run loss to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. For the Super Kings, one loss is an aberration, two on the trot though is a bitter pill to swallow. Home comforts though should get them back to winning ways - if they are to have a smooth entry into the playoffs.

Batting has been CSK's 'Achilles heel' this season and it once again reared its ugly head during their last two encounters. Barring captain MS Dhoni, the rest have simply not stood up to the challenge. Shane Watson has been given a long rope, but with the Australian all-rounder showing no signs of getting back into form, the patience with him as an opener might be on a thin thread. His poor patch has meant the Chepauk-based franchise hasn't got a start, barring the reverse fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The pressure of early wickets is telling on the middle-order and even MS Dhoni's stunning 48-ball 84* wasn't enough to chase down RCB's 161 a night ago.

It's then surprising that the franchise hasn't given a thought about offering chances to their reserve batsmen. Sam Billings played one game only because Dhoni wasn't around while Dhruv Shorey hits headlines only by virtue of being the super-sub. On the positive front, CSK are back at home and they play three straight games at their den, MA Chidambaram Stadium, a ground that has hit notoriety with the way the pitch has played. However, it also brings a sense of calmness to the Chennai camp and they can very well guarantee a top-two slot by the end of the third encounter.

But if there's one team that can hit them hard on such pitches, it's the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Like their hosts, the Sunrisers find themselves in a piquant position. They too endured a mid-season slump, losing three in a row - but have then hit back hard, winning two back-to-back games at home. Like CSK, they have found runs flowing through the blades of only a couple of batsmen - England's Jonny Bairstow and Australia's David Warner. But unlike CSK, they are set to lose both to national duties by the end of the month. Bairstow will be playing his last game of the season tomorrow and Warner will follow suit soon after.

As such, it becomes imperative that they secure as many points as possible before the exit of the big guns. Unlike the other teams, they do have the advantage of having a match in hand and it could well prove to be decisive in the final analysis.

When: Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad, April 23, 8 PM

Where: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

What to expect: On match eve, there was a slight drizzle in the air and a hot and muggy morning was replaced by a cloudy and muggy afternoon. The unexpected drizzle forced the groundstaff to cover the main pitch, but don't expect the track to change its colours. Spin, spin and more spin should be the order of the day, although dew might play a role later in the night.

Team News:

Chennai Super Kings have a set template while playing at home. It should be a straight swap between Harbhajan Singh and Shardul Thakur. Shane Watson's poor returns is a cause of concern, but Dhoni might be inclined to give the Australian one more chance at the top of the order.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir

Sunrisers Hyderabad are coming into the game on the back of two emphatic wins and wouldn't look to rock the smooth sailing boat.

Probable XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed

What they said

Boundaries were needed and yes we have lost by one run, but at the same time we have to see what if there were few dot balls and whether we could have got those extra boundaries or not - MS Dhoni analyses as to where things went wrong for his team against Royal Challengers Bangalore

My first IPL and I've been living every bit of it. Hopefully I'll be back - Jonny Bairstow is absolutely chuffed with his first stint at the Indian Premier League.

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