Chennai still top the IPL table, but will face a stern test in Hyderabad against a powerful but inconsistent Sunrisers side. Richard O'Hagan predicts a low-scoring home win...
"Leaving aside the fact that the Super Kings aren’t exactly an attractive price anyway, their recent wobbles suggest that Hyderabad could pull off a surprise here."
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Chennai Super Kings
Live on Sky Sports 2
It has been a so-so season for the Sunrisers so far, with only three wins in the bank and some big defeats along the way. That includes a 45 run thumping by Chennai in the opening game of the season.
One of Hyderabad's problems has been that they based a lot of their planning around the opening partnership of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. That partnership has failed to provide them with the good start they need on a number of occasions and, when it has, the middle order has then often fallen away instead. They'll be looking for a lot more consistency from a batting lineup which, with the likes of Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan as middle order options, should be doing more to give their Dale Steyn-led attack something to work with.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai managed to cling on to top spot despite Thursday's loss to Kolkata, but only on net run rate. They'll be looking for an improved performance all round after two iffy ones against the Knight Riders this week.
In particular, a return to form for opener Brendon McCullum against the side he scored a hundred against earlier in the tournament wouldn't go a miss. The New Zealander has been subdued in recent games, with a pronounced weakness against spin. Chennai are likely to only have him for a handful of games before he leaves for his country's tour of England and would've hoped for more than they've seen from him so far. In the bowling department, Ravichandaran Ashwin will again be missing; without his skill and control Chennai struggled to take wickets in their last game.
Venue and Conditions
This will be the first IPL game this year at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the Sunrisers having played all of their other home games so far in Visakhapatnam. It has never been a particularly high-scoring ground in the past - even though the boundaries will be considerably shortened for this game, the outfield will still be one of the biggest in the IPL.
Sunrisers are ranked as outsiders at 2.6613/8, with Chennai favourites at 1.491/2. Leaving aside the fact that the Super Kings aren't exactly an attractive price anyway, their recent wobbles suggest that Hyderabad could pull off a surprise here.
Top Hyderabad Batsman
The size of the ground suggests that it might not favour the big hitters so much as players who are adept at making big scores by working the ball into the gaps. Williamson is a man overdue a decent total - you don't get to be ranked as highly as he is in all three forms of the game without being consistently good at them - and his style of play should suit this arena. Back him at odds of 5.04/1.
Top Chennai Batsman
For similar reasons, this game looks set up for a big score from Suresh Raina. He's been in decent form all competition and with odds as good as 4.57/2 available he looks both the right type of batsman for the ground and a safer bet than the shorter priced and more erratic McCullum.
Back Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at odds of 2.6613/8
Richard's IPL2015 P/L