Opinion: Why MS Dhoni-led Chennai will lose against Hyderabad in IPL Qualifier 1

Written By: Jhalak Nagpal WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: May 23, 2018, 01:54 PM(IST)

MS Dhoni should be worried as the bowlers are leaking too many runs in death overs. Photograph:( PTI )

There are more bad moments than good in a cricket match but what differentiates the two is how well and soon you make a comeback.

As the Indian Premier League (IPL) enters its last week, the first qualifier will be played between the two best teams of the seasons, Hyderabad and Chennai.  
Both are the top two teams on points table following the conclusion of the league stage and it grants them two shots to make it to the final.

The winner today will stay in Mumbai while the loser goes to Kolkata, with the hope of making it back to Wankhede.

The intriguing fact of the game today are the skippers - Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kane Williamson. The qualifier 1 is not just limited to these two names, it is more than that.

It is ‘best defenders vs best chasers’.  

However, the chasers have been inconsistent in comparison to the defenders, and this is exactly what makes them a week team today.  And the worst part, Hyderabad know it.

Dhoni-led Chennai which returned to the fray after serving out a two-year suspension, started its campaign by registering one-wicket win against defending champions Mumbai.

However, the credit goes to a single player - Dwayne Bravo. His 30-ball 68 was the only reason why the 'Yellow Brigade' won.  

With openers falling cheaply the middle and lower order failed to provide any momentum and gave away their wickets. And this problem still exists when they enter the qualifiers today.

Whenever Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu have fallen cheaply, Chennai’s middle-order hasn’t shown the ability to withstand the pressure and in the end has left too much for Dhoni to do on his own.

Though Suresh Raina has done well in patches, his strike rate hasn’t been great.  Sam Billings, too, barring a match-winning knock against Kolkata, hasn’t had much of an impact.

Another problem which adds to Dhoni's woes is absence of a death-over specialist.

Dhoni is worried with his bowlers leaking too many runs in the last few overs. Lack of options has seen Dhoni handing over the ball to different bowlers. But as the tournament progressed Bravo came out to be better while others completely struggled.

Chennai’s worry list also includes senior players - Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja. Though both have done well in containing the opposition but haven’t impressed with the wickets.

In 14 games played, Jadeja clinched only 9 wickets and made just 86 runs, while Singh has 7 wickets to his name in 12 games and only 27 runs contribution. The best part about Chennai is they have never been dependent on a single batsman or bowler, but the inconsistency factor will be major trouble for the team.  

But, no matter what happens today, the loser gets another opportunity in qualifier-2 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on May 25.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

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