The last time Sunrisers Hyderabad faced Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2015, it did not go so well for the former, with Brendon McCullum blitzing his way to a hundred to bat SRH out of the game. Those same threats remain very much in place as SRH vs CSK takes centre-stage in Hyderabad on Saturday.
McCullum and Dwayne Smith have been the opening partnership of IPL 2015, not only making big scores at will, but entertaining the crowd to the hilt in the process as well. When the duo is in full flow, there is very little the bowlers can do, and those hard hats do come in handy for the supporters in the stands.
SRH paid the price of letting McCullum go crazy in the reverse fixture in Chennai at the start of IPL 2015, and the primary objective of the Sunrisers bowlers come Saturday will be to get both McCullum and Smith out early.
Because, as KKR showed on Thursday, if you put the CSK middle order under pressure, they are liable to crumble, and getting into that middle order as soon as possible will be paramount if SRH are to stop the Super Kings from posting a big total/chasing down a big target.
The Sunrisers will also take heart from the fact that they are back in Hyderabad, and hope it is the harbinger of some consistent wins in IPL 2015. While CSK and the Rajasthan Royals, even with their recent slump, look nailed-on for a place in the playoffs, the other two spots really are up for grabs, even if KKR look likely to be the third team to qualify.
To make it to the top-four, however, a winning run is essential, and having seen off the Kings XI Punjab in their last match in Mohali, SRH will look to make it two wins out of two.
CSK, though, remain the team to beat – as they so often are – in the IPL. With six wins in eight matches, they are already well on their way to sealing top spot, and even if their charge was halted a little by KKR in the last game, MS Dhoni's men will be confident of bouncing back.
They will also take confidence from the ease with which they beat SRH in the reverse fixture, and even if CSK look a lot more comfortable at home than away, there is little doubt they start favourites in this game.
However, the middle order will need to step up more against SRH's dangerous bowling lineup, because CSK batsmen have looked vulnerable when McCullum and Smith have got out relatively early.
Dhoni said it was a conscious effort from his batsmen to keep pushing hard despite losing wickets regularly against KKR, just to test the strength of the batting unit, but it will be no surprise if the middle order is a little more circumspect this time.
CSK's bowling also did not quite come to the fore against the Knight Riders in the last game, with Dhoni missing the services of R Ashwin, who was coming into form before getting injured, considerably. Ravindra Jadeja is still far from his best, despite showing signs of improvement, and, while Pawan Negi did reasonably well with the ball in Ashwin's absence, there is little doubt that this CSK bowling lineup looks a lot better with the off-spinner in the lineup.
This contest, though, is very much one between CSK's powerful batting lineup and SRH's potent bowling attack, and which of them comes out on top will have a huge bearing on the result.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Match Highlights and Score HERE
The match between SRH and CSK is scheduled to begin at 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET). Live coverage in India will be provided by Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Kix and Sony Aath in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali. Audience in India can also live stream the match online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the US can catch the IPL 2015 game live on ESPN and ESPN Cricket, while audience in the UK can do so on Sky Sports4, Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Audience around the world can also go to Cricketgateway to watch the IPL 2015 match via live streaming online.