Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians Team News
Both the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings topped the points table at the end of the league stage of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2019. The top two teams will now face off for the first Qualifier in a high-octane clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
While Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai is coming off a clinical and comprehensive 9-wicket win in their last league game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede stadium, MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings suffered a 6-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab at Mohali. Mumbai will hence be the more confident of the two sides.
Also, while Chennai will be playing at home and should ideally have the upper hand, one can’t ignore the fact that they have lost both their league games against Mumbai this year. In fact, in the last five games between the two sides in the tournament, Mumbai has won four.
So the advantage clearly lies with Mumbai for Qualifier 1 given their current form and the way they have dominated Chennai in the recent past.
Mumbai has a robust, well-balanced side this time with most of the players in form. Captain Rohit Sharma is coming off an unbeaten 55 in his last match and Suryakumar Yadav found form in that game too. Hardik Pandya, with 373 runs in 14 games at an incredible strike-rate of 197.35, is the biggest X-Factor Mumbai has in their batting armory which is now looking really threatening.
In bowlers like Lasith Malinga, Jasprith Bumrah, Krunal Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan, Mumbai’s bowling arsenal too has balance and variety.
Chennai, on the other hand, has been struggling to find consistency in their team. Barring MS Dhoni – 368 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 140 – the others have struggled to be consistent. Shane Watson, Amabati Rayudu and even Suresh Raina have done well only in patches. Dwyane Bravo too hasn’t been at his best. With Kedar Jadhav almost certainly ruled out of the IPL due to a shoulder injury, Chennai will have bigger headaches to find an able finisher.
Chennai’s bowling has been better with leg-spinner Imran Tahir – 21 wickets in 14 games – leading the charge, closely followed by seam bowler Deepak Chahar who has picked up 16 wickets in 14 matches and Harbhajan Singh who has 13 wickets in 8 games. But the team still lacks a match-winning strike bowler.
The Qualifier 1 of IPL 2019 should hence be a battle between Mumbai’s batting and Chennai’s spinners. Mumbai start as clear favourites for the game considering their all-round and in-form side and the ability of their batsmen to dominate spinners. Unless MS Dhoni can pull off his Midas touch again, Mumbai should move to the final.
The average 1st innings score Chidambaram Stadium,Chennai, is 174. However, the pitches in Chennai this season have been oddly slow and tough to bat on while favoring the spin bowlers. The average score batting 1st this season of the IPL in this stadium has been in the range of 150-160.
If Mumbai bats first, then expect a score of close to 170-180, given their batting prowess. If Chennai bats first, then expect a total close to 160-170. It is unlikely to be a high-scoring game and spinners will dominate.
All in all, we should have a cracker of game on our hands.
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