CSK look to derail Mumbai Indians for semi-final spot
Their backs to the wall after two successive defeats, former champions Chennai Super Kings will look to tame an equally desperate Mumbai Indians to salvage any hope of a semi-final berth at the Champions League Twenty20 in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Super Kings had made a big splash when they won the Indian Premier League in 2010 and 2011 and also annexed the Champions League title in 2010 but the Mahendra Singh
Dhoni-led team failed to live upto their reputation in the latest edition of the Twenty20 event having suffered successive loses in the tournament so far.
The Chennai-based team started its campaign with a 14-run loss to Sydney Sixers and then suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of the Lions last Tuesday. Given the situation, Dhoni has to come up with something special to take his team through to the semi-finals.
Mumbai too has had a bumpy ride so far and are yet to win a match in the tournament. Coming into the tournament as the defending champions, the Harbhajan Singh-led side lost their opening match to Lions by eight wickets, while their next tie against Yorkshire was washed out on Thursday.With just two matches to go before the semi-final berth is decided, both Chennai and Mumbai will have to play out of their skin, besides praying to the weather Gods.
Image: Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Tendulkar's form badly affecting Mumbai Indians
Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina led the Chennai innings in their first match. The rest of the Super Kings batsmen also got decent starts but failed to convert them into big scores.
Bowlers too failed to restrict their opponents in the first two matches as they conceded 185 and 159 runs respectively and they now have to take up responsibility if Chennai has to do well against Mumbai.
Mumbai too is looking for their first win in the event. They have so far posted almost identical scores (157 and 156) in the first two matches against Lions and Yorkshire respectively.
While West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo has got some runs up the order, they have been hugely let down by Sachin Tendulkar's lack of form as the India great could manage only 16 and 7 so far.
Just like the Indian team, Mumbai's batting unit revolves around Tendulkar and the maestro has to come up with a big score to help his team some impetus.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c), R Ashwin, Michael Hussey, Doug Bollinger, M Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Yo Mahesh, S Badrinath.Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Richard Levi, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Thisara Perera, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Dhwal Kulkarni, Suryakumar Yadav.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar of Mumbai Indians attends a training session
Photographs: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images/Getty Images