Going purely by their positions on the table, Saturday’s tie between the team placed second from top and second from bottom may well seem to be a no-match. But such has been the reversal of fortunes for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in the last one week that tonight’s reverse fixture between the two sides can potentially shape their fortunes in the tournament.
Chennai, who have surrendered the top spot to Kings XI Punjab, will be keen not to get sucked into a run of losses in the business end of the tournament. Mumbai, on the other hand, know that a defeat would virtually end their hopes of defending the title whereas a win will keep them in the hunt for a playoff spot.
MS Dhoni & Co come into the match on the back of a heavy defeat to Punjab. The Glenn Maxwell-led carnage would have severely deflated the morale of Super Kings’ bowling unit, who conceded a record 231 runs in that game.
And they will be tested once again by Mumbai batsmen, who seem to be hitting form at the right moment, having shown equal measure of responsibility and aggression in their last two games. After a forgettable outing in the Gulf, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson have all chipped in with meaningful contributions while youngster CM Gautam has been consistent at the top.
This has been well complimented by their bowlers, led by Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh. The inclusion of pacer Praveen Kumar in place of an injured Zaheer Khan has further strengthened their bowling department. However, it couldn’t be ascertained if Kumar would directly be drafted in the playing XI on Saturday in place of Pawan Suyal.
The Super Kings will take confidence from the last meeting between the two sides in Dubai. Back then, Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 71 helped them chase 142 without breaking much sweat, after Mohit Sharma ran through Mumbai’s batting with figures of 4 for 14.
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