At the start of IPL 2022, not many would have expected Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to be lurking at the bottom of the points table for most of the season. That’s how it has turned out to be. Five-time champions Mumbai take on the defending champions CSK this afternoon.
We preview this match and provide betting tips and the players to watch.
The Super Kings might have a slight advantage for this match. They are coming off what their captain MS Dhoni called “a perfect game”, while Mumbai will be smarting from a 52-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders despite Jasprit Bumrah’s five-for.
CSK’s current pairing of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway enjoy the highest average opening partnership (348 runs at 87.00) of any duo after 56 matches. A repeat of their century stand against Delhi could see them register the highest opening partnership of a game against Mumbai for just the second time in 11 clashes. In the bowling department, Mukesh Choudhary seems to have turned a corner after a poor start to the season.
Mumbai’s already failed campaign went from bad to worse when their big-hitting talent Suryakumar Yadav was ruled out of the rest of the season with a forearm injury. Their lack of batting talent was on show once again when only Ishan Kishan (51) could go past 15 runs against Kolkata, seeing them lose by a huge margin despite Jasprit Bumrah’s incredible figures of 5/10. Defeat here would guarantee that they finish last for the first time in their glittering history.
The core of players that took them to four titles in a six-year period has been bitterly disappointing and bears great responsibility for their woes. Captain Rohit Sharma is on the verge of his worst ever IPL season in 15 years (200 runs at 18.18) while Kieron Pollard has a top score of just 25 from 11 innings whilst bowling just 14 overs for four wickets. Bumrah has to prove that his five-wicket haul was no fluke given his figures of 2/244 from the eight games prior.
Uncapped South African Tristan Stubbs could make his IPL debut to replace Ramandeep Singh, with Basil Thampi coming in for Riley Meredith to keep the overseas players’ count to four. Or, Stubbs can replace an out-of-form Kieron Pollard in a direct swap
Mumbai Indians’ recent upturn looks as if it was only temporary. On the other hand, the Chennai Super Kings showed clear signs of progress most recently against Delhi Capitals and should be backed to triumph against their bitter foes despite the absence of Ravindra Jadeja.
A leg-spinner has returned the best figures of the match in six of the last 12 IPL games at Wankhede Stadium.
The average first innings score of 173 at Wankhede Stadium this year climbs to 188 for teams who bat first and win.
MS Dhoni scores at a blistering 10.62 runs per over against the bowling of Kieron Pollard (108 runs for three dismissals) in all T20s.
Jasprit Bumrah has dismissed Shivam Dube twice for just ten runs from 17 balls bowled in T20s.
In IPL 2022, Pollard has scored only 144 runs in 11 innings at an average of 14.40 and a strike rate of 107.46. Among those who have faced a minimum of 100 balls, only Kane Williamson (96.13) and Ajinkya Rahane (100.96) have a lower strike rate. His numbers against spin are even worse: five dismissals at an average of 6.80 and a strike rate of 82.92.
Players to Watch
Chennai’s Devon Conway became the fourth player of the season to post the highest match score in back-to-back games with 85, 56 and 87. Having previously completed one instance of four consecutive 50s for Wellington, he has the history to go on and continue his excellent form. Mumbai’s Tilak Varma is yet to record single-digit scores in consecutive innings and should bounce back, particularly after a match-best 51no in the previous H2H.