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The Indian Premier League 2020 has almost come to the closing stages and few more matches to be played. The next few games are going to be vital for all the teams as it could decide the fate of their play-offs berth. Chennai Super Kings will once again lock horns with the defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The ‘El Clasico’ of Cricket will mark the 41st match of IPL 2020.

Both the teams will face- off each other on the back of losses. Chennai Super Kings were completely dominated by the Rajasthan Royals as the Men in Yellow could only manage a below par 125 on the board. CSK did threaten the Royals side by reducing them to 28/3 in the first 4 overs, but the unbeaten 98 runs stand between the RR captain Steven Smith and English star Jos Buttler ensured RR now have all chances to make it to the play- offs.

Mumbai Indians on the other side are coming back off a thrilling encounter against the KXIP. Batting first, Rohit Sharma and Co. managed to notch up 176 runs on the board, even though at one stage they were 38/3. The Kings Xl Punjab who looked highly determined to make it to the top four had no plans of letting the match slip away. Once the skipper led from the front by scoring 77 runs.  With 9 runs required from the last over, Trent Boult was given the task and he managed to take the match to a super-over. With one super-over not being able to separate the two, the match was taken to the second super- over. 

KXIP needed 12 runs to register their 4th win and the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle set the momentum in their favor by clearing the boundary the very first ball and Agarwal finished the formalities.

The previous encounter between the two sides was the opener of the IPL 2020. The match went in favor of the Chennai Super Kings. The toss went in favor of the 2019 runners up and the former Indian captain MS Dhoni decided to chase down the target. With most of the MI batsmen getting starts, the team managed to reach a decent total of 162. CSK though had a poor start to their chase as they were reduced to 6/2 in the first 2 overs. But the 115 runs stand between the proteas star Faf du Plessis and former Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu ensured CSK were the first team to mark the points table.

Can Mumbai Indians get past the Men in Yellow and cement their place at the top four? Or will CSK once again in this season defeat the mighty Mumbai Indians?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 31, CSK- 13, MI- 18, N/R- 0

Team News

MS Dhoni and Co. will have to play their remaining four matches without the services of their star all- rounder Dwayne Bravo. The West Indian was ruled out of the tournament due to a groin injury. As per the interaction of MS Dhoni with the media, he had expressed his thoughts on how this scenario had opened up the opportunity to try the youngsters out. This could mean few of the players who were benched could get an opportunity to play.

Mumbai Indians have not reported any injuries. The defending champions seem to have done a wonderful job this season and are likely to continue with the same Xl that almost took them past the KXIP barring the super- over which did not go in their favor.

Pitch and Conditions

The Sharjah pitch as we know is a belter for the batsmen added to the short boundaries make it a batsmen paradise. But over the last few matches the pitch seems to have slowed down and the score 200 plus seems unlikely. Any score of 180 plus by the team batting first can fancy their chances for winning the game.

The conditions are once again ideal for the sport as clear skies are expected with no chance of rain whatsoever. The temperature has been on the decline, the maximum temperature is expected to reach 29 degree and the lowest 27 degree. While, the humidity is expected to be hovering around the 52-54% range.

Probable Playing Xl

Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav/N.Jagadeesan, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Shardul Thakur, Josh Hazlewood/Imran Tahir

Mumbai Indians (MI): Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Key Battles

Faf du Plessis (CSK) vs Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

Faf du Plessis (CSK) vs Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

The only silver lining for the Chennai Super kings this season has been the performance of Faf du Plessis. The former proteas captain will be hoping he can continue his form to take the Men in Yellow over the line against their most played rival Mumbai Indians. The Right- hander has scored 375 runs in the 10 matches played so far. 

Mumbai Indians will definitely be looking to remove him as early as possible as they would be looking to win this match and cement their place in the top four. The best person to do the task would be Jasprit Bumrah, who is undoubtedly their best bowler. The previous encounter saw the pacer have an off day as he was seen giving away 43 runs in his 4 overs. But he has surely hit his form and now seems to be at his peak as he has picked up 15 wickets and is placed 4th in the list of highest wicket- takers this season.

Can Faf du Plessis pile on the runs and climb the list? Or will the Yorker specialist have the last laugh?

Quinton de Kock (MI) vs Deepak Chahar (CSK)

Quinton de Kock (MI) vs Deepak Chahar (CSK)

Mumbai Indians had a shaky start to their season and so did the South African captain. But both of them have picked up well ever since. The 27- year old has been in prime form in the last few matches and now is placed 9th in the list of highest- run getters with 322 runs from the 9 matches he has played this season. The last time the teams faced, the left- hander managed to score 33 runs and was dismissed by the all- rounder Sam Curran.

Though this time around Deepak Chahar looks the likely one to claim his wicket. He has been doing a great job in picking up the wickets early and has also been moving the ball a lot, which makes him a very tough bowler to face. With a lot at stake, CSK will be hoping the pacer picks up the big fish of the MI. The Right- arm has picked up 10 wickets from the 10 games played so far.

Can Quinton de Kock battle out the in-swingers? Or will Chahar once again be able to provide the early inroads?

Prediction

Mumbai Indians look very well balanced and determined to win this encounter. Though the fact that the last encounter would be at the back of their minds, the team is very well experienced and well know how to go about things now. The conditions are well in favor of the defending champions as small boundaries and flat pitch could mean players like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya can have a good time. 

Chennai Super Kings look very down on confidence as this is the first time in the history of the tournament, the team has been placed last in the points table. With quiet few changes expected to take place in this match as stated by MS Dhoni in the post match interview, the team will be hoping they can win this encounter. 

The only way CSK can get past the mighty MI will be if Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis set the stadium ablaze. Can they provide CSK with the much needed momentum?

Cricwizz predicts Mumbai Indians to win the match