Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Saturday, September 19
16:00 pm SA time
The long wait for this edition’s IPL has finally come to an end and what better way to start it but with its most glorified rivalry of all times. Statistically, they are the two most successful teams in the history of IPL and have played 30 matches in total (most encounters between any two teams in the Indian Premier League) with Mumbai Indians having the upper hand by winning 18 of these encounters.
Mumbai Indians have emerged victorious in all of their last 5 games against the Chennai Super Kings. Last edition’s IPL ended with a last ball thriller between the two teams and CSK will look to seek revenge while MI will be riding high on confidence but the absence of Suresh Raina and Lasith Malinga will hurt the respective sides immensely and has left the team managements with serious questions to answer.
All eyes will be on Mahendra Singh Dhoni who will take on the field for the very first time after his announcement of retirement from international cricket.Both the teams will look to open their campaign with a convincing win to set the tone for the rest of the tournament, hence this clash is expected to be fierce and one can expect a lot of fireworks.
Injury and Availability News
Ruturaj Gaikwad of Chennai Super Kings is yet to recover completely from Covid-19 and hence will not be available.
Players who were part of their respective squads in the recently concluded England-Australia bilateral series will not be available for their franchise.
Probable Playing XI
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), SuryaKumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Key Players to Watch Out For
Quinton de Kock: Mumbai Indians’ highest run scorer in the last edition’s IPL and currently one of the best wicket-keeper bastman in the world, QDK amassed 529 runs in 16 matches and was also the third highest run-getter in the Orange cap race in 2019. With coach Mahela Jaywardene, confirming that de Kock will open with Rohit Sharma ahead of Chris Lynn, all eyes will be on him to give Mumbai Indians a solid start. He has also been phenomenal behind the wickets and is expected to play a key-role in securing a win for MI.
Jasprit Bumrah: Making his debut for Mumbai Indians in 2013, Jasprit Bumrah has come a long way and is currently considered India’s best bowler across all three formats. He was also the highest wicket taker for Mumbai Indians in last edition’s IPL, getting 19 wickets in 16 matches with an economy of 6.63, which is extremely impressive for a death bowler. With his point precision bowling skills, the boy with the golden arm will be the go-to death bowler for Rohit Sharma and his toe-crushing yorkers will play an important role in shaping Mumbai Indians’ campaign this season.
Dwayne Bravo: DJ Bravo has become the face of the franchise for the Chennai Super Kings and has been extremely dependable with both the bat and the ball. He has 147 wickets in the 134 matches that he has played in the IPL with 1483 runs at an strike rate of 129 with 5 fifties. He is also one of the best fielders for CSK making him a complete package and an important cog in CSK’s wheel. He was in a terrific form in the recently concluded CPL and will like to continue that in this edition’s IPL thus making him vital for CSK’s campaign.
Rohit Sharma to be Mumbai Indians top batsman at 2.25
Jasprit Bumrah to be Mumbai Indians top bowler at 2.00
Chennai Super Kings
Faf Du Plessis/Shane Watson to be Chennai Super Kings top batsman at 3.00
Imran Tahir to be Chennai Super Kings top bowler at 2.25
Prediction: Mumbai Indians to win at 0.68.