CSK Vs MI, Match Preview
The IPL is here, and it is kicking off with its very own El Classico. A lot has changed since IPL came to a halt, and a handful of players have opted out. The tournament has moved back to Dubai. The two sides who met each other shortly before the season came to a halt face off again.
For Chennai Super Kings, the return of the IPL means the return of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. The two experienced stars are gearing up again. With the tournament back in Dubai, CSK will hope to erase the bad memories of last season. They are better placed now, standing second on the table. CSK has Suresh Raina, and Moeen Ali, who weren’t a part of CSK last season. The intent is back, and the spark is there. Chennai have lost their last fixture against Mumbai Indians, and see them as arch-rivals, as both are the most successful franchises in the league history.
Chennai will be wary of Kieron Pollard, who played a blinder to deny them a sure-shot win in their previous fixture. Mumbai Indians will be buoyant seeing how their players have been playing. Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav have been in fine form. Kieron Pollard was brilliant in the CPL, and the bowling looks as strong as ever. They have an arsenal of six-hitters, and a string of aggressive bowlers to look out for. MI won the season last time in UAE, and will be pleased to return to comeback and try to extend their title run. They are currently fourth on the table, after getting off to a shaky start in Chennai, but are finding their feet well.
The Mumbai Indians has a magnificent record against Chennai, and will be pleased to see them as their first opponents. They will look to give themselves the best chance to kick of the second leg with a flying victory early on.
CSK Vs MI, Team News
CSK have Josh Hazlewood back in the squad, and most of their side remains the same. Faf Du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo have some injury concerns. Faf didn’t play the later stages of the CPL with an injury. He, however, seems good to go for the upcoming fixture. Dwayne Bravo played the last few games but didn’t bowl. His fitness may be a concern as he is crucial to CSKs death bowling.
The Mumbai Indians have no squad changes. They will likely go with the same eleven they used in the first leg. Ishan Kishan may come back into the eleven after sitting out for a few games. There is also a case of Hardik Pandya bowling as the all-rounder looks to get back into bowling fitness ahead of the World Cup.
CSK Vs MI, Predicted XIs
Mumbai Indians: Quinton De Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo/ Josh Hazlewood
CSK Vs MI, Players to Watch out for
Kieron Pollard is one player who has tormented the Super Kings so many times in the past. From his debut season in 2010, Pollard has played some of his best knocks against Chennai. He has a liking for Dhoni’s bowlers, and will be a dangerous prospect in the upcoming fixture. Pollard single-handedly won them their previous match against Chennai, and if he finds his touch there could be more fireworks and more nightmares for Chennai.
Ambati Rayudu was brilliant in Chennai’s previous game against the Mumbai Indians. He made 72 off 27 balls with seven sixes. He was able to score off the likes of Bumrah and Boult with ease, and statistically has a good record against them. His batting form is crucial for the Super Kings middle-order, and with his record against Mumbai, he will have a huge role to play in the first game.
CSK Vs MI, Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Dubai will be a fresh one and is likely to help the batters. With Cricket scarce in the UAE in recent times, there won’t be much wear on the surface, but with a lot of Cricket to come, the Dubai pitch could be a little hard so that it could withstand the volume of Cricket that will be played. Chasing will be a better option, as the pitch will have more for the batters.