Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - CSK-MI Round II sets up a feisty resumption for IPL. CSK and MI played out an IPL epic for the ages in their previous meeting on May 1
CSK and MI played out an IPL epic for the ages in their previous meeting on May 1
It feels like eons ago that Kieron Pollard engineered a win for Mumbai Indians in a game that Rohit Sharma hailed as one of the best he's been a part of. Months of cricket across formats in bio-bubbles and unfortunate cancellations later, the keys to the re-ignition of the IPL bandwagon has, understandably, fallen in the arms of the two champion sides. It perhaps gives a degree of seamlessness to the unprecedented task of restarting an IPL season after a lengthy layoff.
Despite the defeat on May 1, CSK would've perhaps felt the halt came at the worst time for them – in the midst of a dramatic resurrection after the lows of 2020. They don't have happy memories on the tricky turfs of UAE, but four of their six victories last season came in Dubai. Their proactive batting, however, so far could straightaway be under scrutiny on Sunday in the possible absence of Faf du Plessis.
Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, won't mind the switch to UAE one bit, where the conditions engulfed them in a much warmer embrace last year. Kieron Pollard, who has already turned the heat on MI's adversaries once this season, enjoyed a strike rate of 191 in 2020, and their bowlers, particularly the quicks, too can expect a flip in their fortunes after making a dreary start in India.
When: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, September 19, 2021, 19:30 IST
Where: Dubai International Stadium
What to expect: Among the three venues in UAE, Dubai was one that showed affinity towards both, fast bowlers (180 wickets, the most) and spinners (94 wickets, the most) in IPL 2020. The venue, with its big dimensions on one side of the wicket, is unlikely to dish out a high-scoring classic like the Arun Jaitley stadium, in the Indian capital, did in May. Yet, batsmen have thrived here, with an average first innings score of 172 last season, while teams have also found more success setting a target – with 16 wins out of 26 games. As for the weather, a clear and warm evening is anticipated in Dubai.
Chennai Super Kings
Injured/Unavailable: Faf du Plessis missed the last three fixtures of the recently-concluded CPL due to a groin injury. A late call on his availability is expected for Sunday's game. If he misses out, CSK could either push Moeen up the order or hand Robin Uthappa his CSK debut. Sam Curran is set to miss this fixture too after arriving in Dubai only on September 15, which follows a six-day hard quarantine period. Dwayne Bravo, fresh from leading St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots to the CPL title, can come in as Curran's replacement.
Tactics & Matchups: If Deepak Chahar doesn't find swing in this part of the world like last time, Dhoni could try Moeen Ali in the early stages against Quinton de Kock. The England spinner has dismissed the South African four times in this format, including in their last meeting. Ravindra Jadeja is a good option against de Kock's opening partner – Rohit – with three dismissals and just 71 runs in 72 deliveries. But Dhoni might have to err on the side of caution with that one, considering Jadeja's worst season with the ball came in UAE last year.
Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis/Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar
Injured/Unavailable: With bubble-to-bubble transfers, the likes of Kieron Pollard and Quinton de Kock are immediately available for selection without having to serve a six-day quarantine. There are no other reported absences.
Tactics & Matchups: With du Plessis in doubt, Mumbai Indians could look to nip CSK in the bud by unleashing their lefty-slayer Jayant Yadav to tie down Moeen, CSK's batting tempo-setter this season, and Ravindra Jadeja, who has batted higher up the order than usual this season.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter-Nile/Adam Milne/Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult
What They said:
“It's a unique challenge to have a tournament split in half. So, we just want to start well again but also remembering the work that it took to get a bit of form and to get those wins. It's all about the mindset, people coming together and almost treating it like a fresh start for another tournament,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming told CSK TV.
“We've been preparing very well. The matches are really close… Very competitive cricket is going on right now because all the seniors are here. Everyone is training very well. Hydration is important so we're taking care of that also as it's too hot in here,” Ishan Kishan told MI TV.
Did You Know:
– MI are the only team to have more wins than losses against CSK in IPL
– Suresh Raina (820 runs) and Dwayne Bravo (28 wickets) are the leading run-getter and wicket-taker against MI in IPL history
– The two teams have had contrasting fortunes at the death with the bat in IPL 2021: CSK have scored at 12.86 (the best) and lost just 10 wickets (the least) while MI have scored at 8.81 (the worst) and lost 26 wickets (the most). However, the switch to UAE is likely to affect this trend.