Sportsrush presents CSK’s probable playing XI against SRH for the IPL 2018 Final to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
It will be a clash between the No 1 and No 2 teams of the points table in the all-important Final. This is actually a testament to the robust format of the IPL as ultimately the two best teams made it to the Final. CSK and SRH are the two best teams of the league beyond doubt and they would rightfully lock horns on the big night.
CSK and SRH have met three times in the IPL this year and CSK have got the better of Hyderabad in all the matches. Also SRH came out victorious in the last match after suffering 4 consecutive losses which would also play on their minds.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 27, 2018
Here is CSK’s probable playing XI against SRH in the Final at Mumbai:
Faf du Plessis
With an unbeaten 67 run innings in the last match, Faf du Plessis carried his bat to take the team to victory. He started off slowly but accelerated later on and along with some contribution from Suresh Raina and Shardul Thakur, took CSK over the line. This has made his spot safe for the Final.
Ambati Rayudu must bat at the top of the order as he has been the highest scoring batsman for CSK this season. He has batted both in the middle order and at the top. Despite frequent shuffles in the batting order, Rayudu has remained unflustered and has delivered for the team.
In 15 matches, Rayudu has scored 586 runs at an average of more than 40. He has also notched up a century. On the back of his consistent performances, he even broke through in the Indian ODI squad touring England.
Suresh Raina has regained some form as the tournament is approaching its conclusion. Raina has 4 fifties under his belt and is a very versatile player. He plays as per the match situation. The southpaw can play an explosive cameo as well as bind the innings together.
Arguably two of the best fielders the #VIVOIPL has seen over the years rightfully sharing the record of grabbing stunners that come their way in the most crucial match of the season! #WhistlePodu #yellove #YelloveFinals #CSKvSRH 🦁💛 pic.twitter.com/lezCxeoAEb
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 27, 2018
Shane Watson/Sam Billings
Shane Watson has become a consistent feature of the CSK team but after failures in the last couple of matches, he may find it hard to retain his place in the side. When the league began Watson had raised the bar but his performances has been dropping since. The skipper is also obliged to put him in the opening slot if he plays.
Sam Billings may not have done exceedingly well till now but what goes in his favour is that he can bat anywhere in the order. This would give the side flexibility. MS Dhoni can then send Rayudu at the top of the order and use Billings as a floater.
CSK Captain MS Dhoni has led the team’s campaign beautifully. Dhoni has not only done wonders with the bat, he has shuffled with his bowlers quite ingeniously. Many-a-times he has taken CSK out of tough situations and this is what has helped to build up a terrific team culture.
Ravindra Jadeja has gradually picked up as the tournament has gone forward. He was widely criticized for his ordinary performances in the beginning but bagged the man of the match against RCB. Jadeja can be very lethal if the pitch has anything to offer for the spinners.
Dwayne Bravo has stepped up his game in the last couple of matches and has ended with figures of 2-25 and 2-39 respectively. Bravo went for runs at the death but has been gradually improving. The all-rounder is a handy batsman as well and can tonk the ball in the slog overs.
Harbhajan Singh/Karn Sharma
Harbhajan Singh did not get to bowl a single over in the last match against SRH. Many have since questioned his place in the side. However, Harbhajan may not have picked a lot of wickets but has contained the opposition batsmen well.
If CSK want to change some things, leg spinner Karn Sharma can be given a game ahead of him. Karn being a leg spinner, his googlies would be tougher to pick for batsmen like Carlos Brathwaite who look to score quickly at the death.
Lungi Ngidi ended as the Man of the Match with dream figures of 4-10-4 against Kings XI Punjab in Pune. Dhoni has entrusted a lot of faith in the South African bowler and he has gradually become Chennai’s lead pacer.
From the time that he has returned from his father’s funeral, he has hit his straps running. In the last match as well, the South African pacer put the lid on the SRH batting. Ngidi can be a valuable asset at the death also.
As the tournament has moved forward Deepak Chahar has been improving with each match. At Wankhede, he would try his best to exploit the swing on offer with the new ball.
When the ball is swinging, Deepak Chahar becomes a very dangerous bowler. He possesses quite decent pace and can jag the ball around both ways.
Early on in the tournament, Shardul Thakur proved very expensive and was dropped from the side. However, since he has returned to the playing XI, Thakur had been continuously improving with figures of 0-19, 1-22, 2-32, 1-27 and 2-33 in the last few matches.
All the same, in the Qualifier 1 against SRH, Carlos Brathwaite took him to the cleaners in the death overs to spoil his figures. The pacer would look to improve upon his variations to be able to put up a better show in the slog overs.