A place in the final of the Indian Premier League is up for grabs in Qualifier 1 between table toppers Mumbai Indians (MI) and second-placed Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a side Mumbai beat twice in the regular season.
Indeed MI have won six of the last seven H2H games and have a 5-2 record at this venue, the home of CSK, including one Champions League win. The last time CSK won a H2H match here was in April 2010, so MI certainly have the edge.
Hardik Pandya (373 runs, 14 wickets) has been MI’s best player by far, while Quinton de Kock (492 runs, SR 133.33) and Jasprit Bumrah (17 wickets, ER 6.78) have been consistently good. MI may be peaking at the right moment, and with key players getting into the groove, they are a side no one wants to face on current form.
CSK may come into the playoffs with four losses in their last six games, but discounting a side that has reached every IPL playoff so far and made the finals in seven of their previous nine attempts, would be foolhardy.
However, MS Dhoni (368 runs, SR 139.92) remains CSK’s best batsman, which puts their batting worries into perspective. They have scored the least number of runs among all sides this season, with no player in the top-15 batsmen and none in the top-20 strikers.
MI vs CSK T20 – Probable XI
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dhruv Shorey, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
MI vs CSK T20 – Players to watch out for
Rohit Sharma (MI) showed signs of an upturn in form with a 55* against KKR in his last game, and has scores of 67 & 56 in his last two visits to Chennai.
CSK’s Imran Tahir (21 wickets, ER 6.50) is the tournament’s second-best bowler and 12 of his wickets came at this venue.
MI have won three of their last four H2H playoff fixtures and four of their last five playoff games.
When batting first against CSK, Mumbai have a 10-6 record. CSK have won 12 of their 19 IPL playoff games, but have lost five of their last eight.
CSK’s overall record when batting second is 50-19.