The 44th match of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be see table topper Chennai Super Kings (CSK) host their longtime rival Mumbai Indians (MI) at MA Chidambaram Stadium. CSK is already at top of the league with 16 points while Mumbai would be looking to displace Delhi Capitals (DC) and secure the 2nd spot.
Chennai will come into this match with a spotless home record. Their last ball victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) saw Shane Watson rediscover his form and won the Player of the Match for his knock of 96 of 53 balls. Watson’s blitz was supported at times by Suresh Raina and Ambatti Rayudu that anchored CSK’s chase.
MI will come into this match after yet another defeat by the Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Mumbai bowling attack tried their best but were not able to curtail Steve Smith and Riyan Prayag who put together a match winning partnership of 70 and emerged as winners with 5 balls to spare.
Quinton de Kock, Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar also put in strong performances but were eventually unsuccessful.
Chennai Super Kings
Barring a last ball win against the RR, CSK has won all other games with a reasonable amount of comfort. Their batting has looked strong and their bowlers have complemented their batsmen with disciplined performances.
Over the course of this season, Chennai has shown their mettle as defending champions, digging deep, holding their nerve and sometimes, pulling victories out of thin air. Their talismanic captain, MS Dhoni is in terrific form and seems to inspire others teammates too, sometimes even by just sheer willpower. Watson too looked in threatening form during his onslaught on the SRH bowlers while Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav have contributed useful runs at key moments.
CSK is a team filled with match winners – Dwayne Bravo, Dhoni and Watson are game changers while their bowling attack with Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh looks to contain runs and take wickets with ease. Chennai are favourites to retain top spot and can once again make their way to the finals.
If there is another team spoken in the same reverential breath as CSK, it would have to be MI. The three-time IPL champion, MI has found ways to find match-winning performances from their key performers at the right time.
This season proves to be no different – Quinton de Kock has been in supreme form at the top of the order while captain Rohit Sharma has shown glimpses of his form that makes him such a dangerous player in limited overs cricket. The pair has scored 606 runs from 9 innings (Sharma missed one game due of injury) and have given Mumbai a flying start.
Suryakumar Yadav has proven an able No.3 batsman, having scored 243 runs from 10 innings while Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya have consolidated the batting further down the order.
Mumbai’s big strength has been the form of their big hitters. Kieron Pollard demonstrated his big hitting ability against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) while Hardik Pandya too has frequently shown his worth as a batsman this season, while, his bowling has been quite inconsistent. Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga have been well-supported by Jason Behrendoff, while Rahul Chahar has proven to be a key bowler in the 7 matches he has played.
This match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is surely going to be the ‘clash of the titans’ and also promises to be filled with surprises.
Head to Head
Total Matches Played – 27
CSK Won – 12 MI Won – 15
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C and WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir.