Needing a win from three games to book a play-offs berth, former champions Chennai Super Kings take on table toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad the Indian Premier League match in Pune on Sunday.
The MS Dhoni-led Chennai started their campaign on a high by winning five out of their first six games before losing to defending champions Mumbai Indians.
They now have 14 points from 11 matches and they just need one win from the three games in hand. Friday’s defeat to 2008 inaugural edition champions Rajasthan Royals, also returning to the fold after two years, has made Chennai wait in their quest for a play-offs spot.
Dhoni blamed his side’s bowlers for failing to defend the total of 176 against Rajasthan Royals.
But they need to be backed up by the bowlers and a re-jigging of the bowling attack may be on the cards.
With 18 points to their credit, Hyderabad, led astutely by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will also look to consolidate their top spot and ensure a top-two finish at the end of the league stage.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan (290 runs) got into the groove at the opportune time with a big knock against Delhi Daredevils while inspirational skipper Williamson (493 runs) has been in prime form throughout the tournament.
Yusuf Pathan (186 runs), Manish Pandey (184) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (158) have also chipped in at crunch situations. Bhuvneshwar has been backed up superbly by Siddharth Kaul (13 wickets), Sandeep Sharma, leg spinner Rashid Khan (13) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (12).
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf Du Plesis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayadu, Deepak Chahar, K M Asif, Kanish Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshtiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur and N Jagadeesan, David Willy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (C ), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.