The Chennai Super Kings will be smarting from their big loss to Mumbai the other day. The skipper and coach have said that they were mentally not in the game and that can sometimes happen during a long season. That they are still leading the table and have some distance between them and the ones below them does give them the leeway to make up for the odd lapse.
What they do not want is to lose the winning rhythm. They have the example of the Bangalore team, who are suddenly losing from winning positions and as the tournament gets to the qualifying end, no team wants to get into bad habits and shaky temperament.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have won all their home games so far which is a far cry from their results on the same ground last year. They now feel pretty impregnable on the ground and despite the slow nature of the pitch, their new ball attack of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma is proving quite a handful to the opposition.
The leggies, Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma are bowling well too. Their test will be bowling to top quality left-handed batsmen like Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina, who can up the scoring rate in a matter of minutes. Hussey has taken the orange cap from Gayle once and can do so again if he gets a big one in this game. There is the skipper Dhoni who is pretty much unstoppable once he gets set.
If there is a team that can turn the form upside down it is the Chennai team. It is the most settled team in the IPL with its core group not having changed at all from the first edition and the new comers that they pick fit into the team just right. The main worry for the Chennai team is their bowling, which has had its ups and downs and so Dhoni would want to give them a big score to defend.
The Sunrisers’ batting looks a lot more solid after the return of Shikhar Dhawan to the team. His confidence is rubbing off on the payers and they are rallying round him. What the youngsters should be picking from him is how he is playing more in the ‘V’ even if it is lofted shots.
What this edition has shown conclusively is that in this format too the straight batted shots have got more runs than the ugly cross batted heaves. The format does change but most of the principles of batting and bowling stay the same and that is a lesson that should not be forgotten or ignored.
Professional Management Group