Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 05 May 2012 - 10:24pm IST
Preview: Match 49 – MI v CSK
Dhoni and co. take on Mumbai Indians in their return leg at Wankhede
The Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings – two traditional powerhouses of the IPL – will face off against each other in Match 49 of DLF IPL 2012.
Both teams were considered to be among the top contenders to make it to the playoffs, but things haven’t quite gone according to script for them. The Mumbai Indians have won six out of their ten matches; but in four of those six wins, they’ve barely managed to edge past their opponents.
The Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, are yet to display the form that saw them cruise to the IPL title in 2011. The defending champions have won five of their ten matches and need to start winning consistently if they hope to finish among the top four teams for the fifth season in a row.
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
For the Mumbai Indians to become a strong force, they need Sachin Tendulkar to start piling on big runs. Five starts in six innings and a highest of 34 only confirm that Tendulkar hasn’t quite converted the starts to big match-winning scores that are expected from him. The Little Master has looked in good form, but needs to anchor the innings at one end – just like he did in IPL 2011.
In the Chennai Super Kings’ line-up, keep an eye on their two in-form players – Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. While the former has scored runs almost every time he has walked out to bat, the latter seems to be slowly discovering the form that helped him score over 400 runs in each of the past four seasons.
Lasith Malinga’s four overs and how many runs CSK score off those 24 deliveries could determine which team ends up victorious. Also keep an eye on a mini-battle within the match; the Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh struggled to buy wickets in the initial few games, but has discovered his rhythm in the last couple of matches. CSK’s R Ashwin – the man who took his Bhajji’s place in the Indian team – too has been a pale shadow of the bowler who was his team’s top wicket-taker in IPL 2011. Both players will be hoping to impress national selectors, and it will be interesting to see who ends up with more points at the end of the match.
These two heavyweight teams have so far met on nine occasions, and the Mumbai Indians have a slight edge over the Chennai Super Kings in that they’ve won five of those nine matches.
At home, MI have won three of the four matches against CSK, with the only defeat at home coming in the title clash of IPL 2010.
In the most recent meeting between these two teams – in the opening fixture of IPL 2012 in Chennai – the Mumbai Indians bowled out the hosts for 112 and then cruised to a convincing eight-wicket win.
The Mumbai Indians have the poorest scoring rate of all the teams in IPL 2012 – 7.06.
The Chennai Super Kings are the only team to have not bowled a single maiden over in IPL 2012.
The Mumbai Indians will be back in action on May 9 when they take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at home. The Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, enjoy a three-day break before their away fixture against the Rajasthan Royals on May 10.