MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings were out for the last two editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but old habits die hard as they have qualified for the playoffs yet again. They will horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on Tuesday, for a place in the May 27 final.
CSK are undisputedly the most balanced side of the tournament, with Dhoni coming back to his destructive form like good old days. Rayudu has also redeemed his career in this edition as he was given the responsibility to open the innings. Dhoni's experiment has worked well for the Andhra Pradesh-born batsman and the team.
IPL 2018, Qualifier 1: Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Chennai Super Kings in rip-roaring battle to enter final
All-rounder Shane Watson is also doing wonders with bat and bowl to shoulder his responsibility. People criticised CSK's management a lot during auction when they picked warhourses instead of youngsters. With the way CSK have performed this season, one thing is evident that the experience does matter in every format of the game.
CSK have got the depth in their squad and their bench strength is a great example of that. Experienced players like Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir have not been included in the playing XI of past few matches.
The only fall back for CSK this season is the inconsistency of Mr IPL Suresh Raina. He needs to get into his touch ahead of the qualifiers to boost CSK's chances against SRH.
CSK have to back their batting against the quality bowling of SRH and for that, Rayudu and Watson need to take the charge of the team in the initial overs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL Qualifier 1
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Date and Time: May 22 and 07:00 PM IST
Chennai Super Kings' journey to IPL 2018 playoffs
Match 1, MI vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings won by 1 wicket
Match 2, CSK vs KKR: Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets
Match 3, KXIP vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings lost by 4 runs
Match 4, CSK vs RR: Chennai Super Kings won by 64 runs
Match 5, SRH vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings won by 4 runs
Match 6, RCB vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets
Match 7, CSK vs MI: Chennai Super Kings lost by 8 wickets
Match 8, CSK vs DD: Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs
Match 9, KKR vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings lost by 6 wickets
Match 10, CSK vs RCB: Chennai Super Kings won by 6 wickets
Match 11, RR vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings lost by 4 wickets
Match 12, CSK vs SRH: Chennai Super Kings won by 8 wickets
Match 13, DD vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings lost by 34 runs
Match 14, CSK vs KXIP: Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets