Amid a lot of speculations and hurdles, One of the most celebrated Global Cricketing Events- The Indian Premier League is now all set to kick start on the 19 of September. The Tournament begins with the clash of the heavyweights as Mumbai Indians lock horns with MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings, which is also known as the ‘El Classico’ of IPL.
Both the teams have once again retained their core players coming into the tournament. The Chennai Super Kings though had a huge blow with their star players Suresh Raina and Harbhajan pulling themselves out of the tournament. The team also had a scare when few of their players were tested positive for COVID, only of the player being their front-line pacer Deepak Chahar.
Though the recent test coming out as negative has given the CSK campaign some sort of relief going into the opener. Mumbai Indians on the other side have a well settled side and come into the tournament with their robust players in the form of Rohit Sharma, Qiunton de Kock, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
Chennai Super Kings have not managed to defeat the Mumbai Indians on the last five occasions including the thrilling IPL 2019 finals which MI won by 1 run. Can the “Men in Yellow” turn the tables in their favor this time?
Deepak Chahar has been tested negative and is likely to make the starting Xl. While CSK are without the services of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, They are likely to go ahead with Piyush Chawla as their spin option along with Imran Tahir.
The MI campaign has not reported any injuries and seem to have a fully fit squad in place. Though the only blow came for the MI when the veteran pacer Lasith Malinga pulled himself out of the league. Trent Boult is likely to replace him in the line-up.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is reported to be clear and with the peak summer in the Middle-Eastern Country going on. The temperatures are expected to reach 32 to 35 degrees.
The Pitch used in Abu Dhabi is on the slower side, but with the fresh pitch to be used in the opener, the spinners could not get much out of it. The batsmen could enjoy playing some strokes early in the game. The team winning the toss will likely choose to chase down the target given the conditions and due factor later in the evening.
Probable Playing Xl:
Mumbai Indians- Rohit Sharma (Captain), Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan (Wk), Surya Kumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah,Trent Boult.
Chennai Super Kings- Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir.
MS Dhoni vs Rohit Sharma
The two most successful captains of the league are set to take each other again. Rohit Sharma though is on the better side with four wins to his name while the former Indian captain has three title wins to his name. He would really consider himself unfortunate to not be able to the 2019 title as a difference of one run cost CSK the record fourth title.
The CSK captain though has an outstanding record to his name of the captain with most number of wins in IPL and also only captain with 100 plus wins in the IPL. Thus showing he is no stranger to winning and he knows how to get the team out of difficult situations.
With 2019 going in favor of the Mumbai Indians. Can the World winning captain turn the fortunes in his favor this time?
Shane Watson vs Jasprit Bumrah
The IPL 2019 would be a great example to show how one Bumrah troubled the Australian. Watson is one of the hardest hitters of the ball and is known to dominate the bowlers at will. With his capability of playing the spinners well makes him one of the best foreign batsmen in the tournament.
Though Watson has found it tough to play the Indian Pacer, especially the yorker deliveries. He did do a good job in playing his overs out on his way to an almost match-winning 80, he definitely was seen having a tough time against Bumrah.
Can a 26-year-old capitalize on his strength ? Or will the veteran once again prove why he is one of the best openers in the World?
Match: Mumbai Indians vs CSK, Match 1 of 56
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Date and Time: 19 September, 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
On the sheets Mumbai Indians look the team likely to come out as the winners. But, We know what the ‘Men in Yellow’ are capable of and are one of the few teams which have never given up attitude till the very last ball.
The Pitch and conditions are likely in favor of the MI as the fresh pitch would be a paradise for the hard-hitting Mumbai Indians. Given that, the pitch is designed to aid the spinners and is on the slower side, if the pitch does play to its character, We could definitely see CSK on top of things.
With Mumbai Indians having a five match streak against them and clinching the 2019 title on a one-run margin. Chennai Super Kings have a lot of questions to answer and more importantly end the streak of MI. With the likes of Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja and 2019 purple cap winner Imran Tahir in the side. CSK look good enough to beat the defending champions.
Cricwizz Prediction: Chennai Super Kings to win