Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
27th T20 Venue: M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai Time: 02:30 PM GMT, 08:00 PM IST
Mumbai Indians making a false start in the Indian Premier League has been a recurring theme over the last few years. Mumbai Indians recovering dramatically from the rut to scrape their way through to the playoffs and potentially going on to win the title has also been a recurring theme in the IPL.
This time, it’s no different. Confined to the bottom of the table after losing five out of their six games, MI find themselves in familiar territory. Their previous result against Sunrisers Hyderabad would have left them gutted and mentally sapped. But if there’s something that can still provide them hope, it’s the slender margin of some of their defeats – most of which could have been turned into victories.
One of them was against Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener. Returning after a two-year suspension, CSK looked dead and buried before a Dwayne Bravo whirlwind cameo and a stubborn Kedar Jadhav gave them an extraordinary win. While Super Kings have gone onto build from that tense win to notch a few more in similar fashion, MI have only been on a downward spiral. Not only is their title defence at stake now, MI will also look to draw extra inspiration in order to get one over their arch rivals.
Perhaps, the biggest surprise would have been the inability of their powerful batting order to fire over and over again. The big money names Evin Lewis and Ishan Kishan have not delivered consistently and their skipper Rohit Sharma has had only one top knock so far. Kieron Pollard has looked way below his best whereas the Pandya brothers haven’t done well either. Collectively, this batting unit needs a lift.
CSK, on the other hand, will look to arrest the middle-order wobble that has left them with too much to do at the death. Even though they have been successful more often than not in getting the job done, the focus will be on ensuring they don’t crumble like they did against Mayank Markande in the first game. If they can also fine-tune their bowling attack to deliver as a unit like they did against Rajasthan Royals, Pune can become a fortress.
What to expect:
A full house considering MI fans only have to make a short trip to Pune. The pitch is full of runs according to CSK’s bowling consultant Eric Simmons.
Channai Super Kings:-
Some of the second-choice players like David Willey, Faf du Plessis, Mark Wood, Murali Vijay were among the first ones to come out and practice with the big guns opting to rest. CSK are expected to be unchanged for this clash.
Channai Super Kings Players:-
Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
There is a case for the Mumbai Indians to tinker around with their combination considering the recent results but since they’ve preferred to back their players even through this lean phase, it is unlikely they will make wholesale changes.
Mumbai Indians Players:-
Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman/Adam Milne
IPL 2018 Trend:
MI have lost 20 wickets in the death overs which is the most for any team. Their scoring rate in these overs is 8.05, which is the lowest among all teams. They lose a wicket every 9.70 balls, which is the fewest for any team.
CSK, on the other hand, have lost the fewest wickets in this phase – nine – and have the best scoring rate at 12.65.