IPL: Sunday 22 April Preview

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We preview Sunday's IPL double-header which will see the Sunrishers Hyderabad and the Chennai Super Kings clash before the Rajasthan Royals take on the Mumbai Indians. 

Mid-table monotony won't suffice for the Chennai Super Kings or Rajasthan Royals, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad want to bounce back from their first defeat of the season and the Mumbai Indians try to keep their title defence on track.

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings

Hyderabad were blown away by Kings XI Punjab centurion Chris Gayle earlier this week, while Chennai also need to recover from defeat to the Punjab outfit. This commonality, indeed, will make for an intriguing contest.

SRH vs CSK | Sunday, 22 April | Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad | 12:30

To Win Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad 91/100
Tie 35/1
Chennai Super Kings 91/100 

Sunrisers Hyderabad 
A previously settled Sunrisers bowling attack was well and truly rattled by Gayle and crew in Mohali, where opening the bowling with two seamers offered some merit, but lack support from the spinners really hurt. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, in particular, all but failed the biggest test of his career so far, but can right those wrongs against the Super Kings.

The foundation put in place by opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan will again be key, to allow captain Kane Williamson and the rest of the middle-order the opportunity to fire. The hosts must be reconsidering wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha as an opening option, though - perhaps it's time he be pushed down the order and, say, the promising Manish Pandey or veteran Yusuf Pathan up.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai's recent record against Hyderabad is evenly poised, with two wins each in 2014 and 2015. The Super Kings, of course, were not in the competition in 2016 and 2017, so have lost some momentum against Sunday's opposition, which could afford Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company the chance to pounce. They'll likely still be without Suresh Raina, who is temporarily sidelined by injury.

The visitors' willingness to back their local bowlers during the opening half of the innings in order to beef up their batting ranks with overseas resources will certainly be in the spotlight. Stalwart spinner Harbhajan Singh, with the new ball, awaits a tough battle within the war against Dhawan. West Indian and Australian Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson, then, need to follow suit with the ball.

Verdict: Chennai Super Kings 91/100
Home ground advantage won't play into the hands of Hyderabad as much as anticipated, as the Super Kings continue to prove that the Sunrisers peaked a bit too soon.

Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians

Rajasthan have flitted between being solid and inconsistent, with some balance promptly required. Mumbai took four attempts for an opening 2018 victory - and they'd dearly appreciate a second soon.

RR vs MI | Sunday 22 April | Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur | 16:30

To Win Match
Rajasthan Royals 5/4
Tie 35/1
Mumbai Indians 66/100

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan will be acutely aware that several batsmen put together promising starts but ultimately failed to deliver innings of genuine proportion against Kolkata. This needs to be rectified, with big contributions from Englishmen Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in high demand. Sanju Samson, at least, is a banker - and D'Arcy Short is gradually learning to handle lower, slower sub-continental conditions.

Spinners Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham are two of the lesser known names making a future for themselves this month. While Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat battle with the pressure of their big billing - and Ben Laughlin simply enjoys himself in the twilight of his career - Gopal and Gowtham have the opportunity to put in a big collective showing against the defending champions.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai can definitely take example from Kolkata, who loaded their attack with wrist- and left-arm slow bowlers against the Royals, who were largely caught off guard by the lack of pace coming onto the bat. Krunal Pandya, ever trying to step out of the shadow of his younger brother Hardik, and leg-spinner Mayank Markande therefore could be instrumental.

The title holders will be very pleased with the return to form of Rohit Sharma, whose cool, calm and collected approach to proceedings - with the bat and captaincy - is going to have to be on point against spirited opposition. A total no less than 180 will suffice at this relatively high-scoring venue. They'll probably be without wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan, who copped a nasty blow to the face in the previous fixture.

Verdict: Mumbai Indians 66/100
If Rajasthan are unable to up their intensity levels and Stokes, Short and others don't deliver on expectation, Mumbai will win their fourth match in their last five attempts against the Royals.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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