Rediff.com  » Cricket » Can CSK trump Mumbai at home in Qualifier 1?

Can CSK trump Mumbai at home in Qualifier 1?

May 06, 2019 13:14 IST

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK has been patchy after a strong start and finished its league engagements with a six-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali on Sunday.

IMAGE: The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK has been patchy after a strong start and finished its league engagements with a six-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

Handed a reality check in their last league fixture, defending champions Chennai Super Kings will be banking on home advantage to seal their place in the summit clash when they take on a confident Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 1 of the  IPL in Chennai on Tuesday. 

After the gruelling league phase of the ongoing IPL, the stage is set for the play-offs with CSK and MI clashing against each other for a place in May 12 final.

There is hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides as both CSK and MI have won the title three times earlier.

 

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK has been patchy after a strong start and finished its league engagements with a six-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali on Sunday.

But CSK will be happy to return to their den to take on table-toppers MI, probably its biggest IPL rival, to decide which team seals a spot in the May 12 final.

CSK boasts of a tremendous record at home this season, winning six of its seven games at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

A defeat, however, will provide both the teams a second chance in Qualifier 2 on May 10.

The CSK top-order has fired in fits and starts in the league phase and will need to come out all guns blazing against a formidable MI bowling attack that includes Jasprit Bumrah (17 wickets), Lasith Malinga (15 wickets), the Pandya brothers (Hardik 14 wickets and Krunal 10 wickets) and leggie Rahul Chahar (10 wickets).

 

Skipper Dhoni (CSK's highest run-getter with 368 runs from 12 matches, 3 fifties) has been the mainstay of a rather inconsistent CSK batting unit and along with openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina holds the key in Saturday's game as the usually fluent Ambati Rayudu has struggled to get going.          

CSK, however, will miss the services of the Kedar Jadhav, who sustained a freak shoulder injury in the match against Kings XI Punjab.

But Jadhav wasn't in the best of form and his absence would open up a spot for either Murali Vijay or Dhruv Shorey.

Bowling has been CSK's strong point so far this season and becomes even more potent on M A Chidambaram stadium's sluggish wicket.

Imran Tahir (21 scalps), the second highest-wicket taker this season after Kagiso Rabada (25), has been at the forefront of an effective CSK spin trio, also including veteran Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja (both with 13 wickets each).

And the success of Tahir & Co against the powerful MI batting line-up could very well determine the course of the match.

Mumbai Indians' Quinton de Kock has been prolific up the order

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock has been scoring heavily for Mumbai Indians this IPL. Photograph: BCCI

MI captain Rohit Sharma (386 runs), the impressive Quinton De Kock (492, third leading run-scorer), Hardik Pandya (380) and Kieron Pollard will be hard to stop once they get going and CSK's bowlers have a tough task at hand.

The onus would also be on the ever-improving Deepak Chahar, who has taken 16 scalps so far, to pick up early wickets for CSK and stifle the rival batting line-up.

Going by the head-to-head record this year, MI hold the upper hand having won both their encounters against CSK in the preliminary phase.        

MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene would be aware of the job at hand and won't take CSK lightly despite the Lions' recent wobbly form.

CSK will certainly receive a boost by playing the Qualifier 1 at home with the crowd fully backing the team in what promises to be a cracker of a contest.

Teams (from):

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav, Beuran Hendricks and Lasith Malinga.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan, Scott Kuggeleijn.

Match starts at 7.30 pm.

© Copyright 2019 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT