2018’s finalists Chennai and Hyderabad square off at Dubai in Friday encounter of the Indian T20 League 2020.
Three-times champion Chennai started the campaign with a clinical win over Mumbai in the season opener but after the back-to-back defeats against Rajasthan and Delhi, the management is now looking to fix sort of errors which evolved in both games. Delhi’s defeat draws questions over the middle-order but a healthy break from the season can help out MS Dhoni to catch the rhythm ahead of the clash with Hyderabad. Faf is the only batsman who has adapted very well with the conditions. Chennai is also lacking in the bowling as Chahar is not so effective with the new ball and Jadeja is not controlling runs in middle-overs. Dhoni tried both Ngidi and Hazlewood in death but Chennai couldn't trouble the batsmen. Vijay will be dropped after a poor show in three games and Rayudu will be back after recovering from the injury. Bravo is also available for the selection but Chennai will have to drop Ngidi or Hazlewood here so he might be dropped in Dubai. Dhoni can also consider Tahir ahead of the pace.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad edged past Delhi in their previous game to draw first win of the season. Warner made changes in the squad and it worked for them. Williamson came back after the injury and played a gorgeous knock of 41 off 26 balls. Warner and Bairstow also got runs but Hyderabad celebrated the most from the performance of Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Rashid went for just 14 in his spell and scalped three important wickets. They defended 162 against a top batting side and showed a compact team effort. To continue the rhythm, Hyderabad needs one more win to boost confidence. Warner would likely to go ahead with the same playing XI. It means, Nabi would be dropped and Williamson will play in middle-order.
Dubai’s surface is a decent T20 track and it offers plenty of help to pacers. It’s a good scoring ground and batting first is an ideal call as the surface gets slow in the second half.
Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazlewood/Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg/Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
Faf du Plessis
This season so far – M: 3, Runs: 173, Avg: 86.50
This season so far – M: 3, Wickets: 5, Avg: 17.60
This season so far – M: 3, Runs: 119, Avg: 39.67
Previous outing: 41 (26)