| On 3 months ago

MI vs CSK IPL 2019 preview: The clash of the titans for a place in the finals

By Chaitanya Laxman

This shouldn’t be surprising. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings topped the points table in IPL 2019, something which they were supposed to do given the quality of their squads and now they look forward to book a place in the finals of IPL season 12.

A defeat here offers another chance to qualify for the finals but both teams won’t want to go through that path. Expect plenty of sparks to fly as this is a clash of the big boys in the Indian Premier League.

In the news:

CSK all-rounder Kedar Jadhav injured his left shoulder in the last league match which has ruled him out of the remaining tournament.

Form guide:

Suresh Raina has found his mojo while du Plessis scored vital runs in the last game. These are positive signs for CSK as they so far relied heavily on MS Dhoni. The form of Ambati Rayudu is still a worry and they need someone to partner Dhoni in the death overs.

The bowling has been top-class with Tahir and Chahar leading the way while Bhajji has rekindled the value of off-spinners in T20 cricket. Jadeja and Bravo have chipped in when required.

Mumbai’s top-order is back in runs, a big positive for the franchise while Hardik and Pollard have gathered plenty of runs. Malinga is marshalling the troops effectively in the bowling department and Bumrah albeit quiet, has given him the due support. The small chink though lies in the fifth-bowling option.

Key Numbers:

  • Mumbai Indians have won 16 matches while CSK have won 12 in head to head battles.

  • Interestingly the Chennai pitch has supported Mumbai Indians as Mumbai have won five out of the seven matches here. Also, they have won six of the last seven matches against CSK.

Also read how Mumbai dismantled KKR in their last league match

Players in focus:

Chennai’s leading wicket-taker this season, Imran Tahir is in terrific form. With 21 wickets at an average of 16.52, Tahir has provided crucial break-throughs in the middle overs and his economy rate of 6.52 indicates that he has been difficult to score against.  Watch out for the Pollard vs Tahir and Hardik vs Tahir match-up.

Don’t forget to check how KXI overcame Faf du Plessis’ 96 runs against CSK

An economy of 9.59 and an average of 24.20 might tell that Lasith Malinga has been expensive in IPL 2019 but Mumbai Indians know that he has given them 15 crucial wickets during crunch moments. Malinga’s massive experience and cricketing genius will be Mumbai’s USP in the knock-out matches and once again it will be interesting to watch Malinga’s yorkers and slower-ones against Dhoni’s powerful shoulders.

Chaitanya Laxman

Smitten by cricket, green mountains, and written words, Chaitanya is engrossed with cricket stats and analysis. But cricket commentary is what he savors the most.