MI vs CSK: After the non-stop battle between 8 teams in 56 games over 6 weeks, we finally have the top 4, who will fight each other in the playoffs, for a spot in the finale. Chennai Super Kings was the first team that booked its slot in the playoffs, with Delhi Capitals following the suit and becoming the second team to qualify. MI, with their back-to-back wins in the last 2 games against SRH and KKR, became the third team to make it to the playoffs while claiming the top spot on the points table.
The fourth slot was a tricky one. SRH, KXIP, RR and KKR, all had their eyes glued to this spot. Everyone seemed to be equally away from this goal. Finally, it all came down to the Net Run Rate. SRH with mere 12 points, became the first team in the history of IPL to make it to the playoffs (talk about luck). KKR, with the same number on the points tally, had to return home, owing to the difference in NRR. Looks like the inhuman bashing of Warner and Bairstow, seems to have paid off for team-SRH.
The first game in the playoffs will be played against Chennai Supers Kings and Mumbai Indians at the P Chidambaram Stadium. The match between MI and CSK is always an exciting one to watch. CSK, which seems steady and composed against every other team, tends to show signs of weakness against MI. The same goes for MI too. This rivalry isn’t something that was born in this edition of IPL; the rivalry between the two teams and their fans, ages back to the initial seasons of IPL itself.
It will be exciting to see which team triumphs over the other. In the words of the Joker, this game is that of “An unstoppable force, meeting an immovable object”. The game will boil down to a few tiny decisions and events. In a game of equals, toss even on an unpredictable surface too will make a mighty difference.
The pitch at Chepauk hasn’t supported the batsman much. The slow track at this stadium had made run-getting a challenge for the batsmen, so far. The pitch has been aiding the spinners very much. Both teams flaunt good spinners in their side, and they would want to bring in more from the bench to dominate the game.
Matches won by teams batting 1st: 32
Matches won by teams batting 2nd: 19
Highest total this season: 179/4 by CSK vs DC
Lowest total this season: 70/10 by RCB vs CSK
The weather in Chennai is expected to be neutral in contrast to that of what was experienced in the last games. The temperature is expected to hover around the 33-degree mark. As usual, the conditions will be humid, with the numbers reaching 65 per cent. The skies will be filled with clouds, however, the forecast suggests no chance of rain during the course of the game. Dew will play a part in the second innings.
Mumbai Indians have won the majority of the 28 games they played against Chennai Super Kings. MI have won 16 games, while CSK have just 12 wins to their name. The difference in winning ratio is mostly unaffected when comparing the stats specifically at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. MI have won 5 games, with CSK winning the remaining 2 games, out of the total 7 games played in CSK’s home ground.
Ishan Kishan may be traded for Evin Lewis, who scored 32 at the Chepauk last time. Lewis has a reputation for being an explosive batsman, and this match could be a great stage for him to explode. The slow left-armer Anukul Roy may be brought into the side, costing Mitchell McClenaghan his place in the team. Given the slow nature of the pitch in Chennai, this may be a forced move for MI. Roy with Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya will manage the spin-department for MI.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
The big news for the Super Kings fans is that Kedar Jadhav will not be playing the remainder of the tournament due to his shoulder injury. Dhruv Shorey is likely to take his place. Shane Watson’s poor form has been a subject of concern. One major advantage for Chennai is their spin line-up. With the likes of Jadeja, Harbhajan and Tahir, CSK can capitalise the nature of the pitch to restrict the opposition to low scores.
Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ambati Rayudu, Dhruv Shorey, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Rohit Sharma- Mumbai Indians
MS Dhoni- Chennai Super Kings
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 19:30 IST
The prediction is for the team, batting first to win the match.
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