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Preview: M44 - CSK vs MI

The Chennai Super Kings will look to even scores with the Mumbai Indians when the two teams clash in Match 44 of VIVO IPL 2019.

What

The Chennai Super Kings will look to even scores with the Mumbai Indians when the two teams clash in Match 44 of VIVO IPL 2019.

Chennai Super Kings, currently table-toppers, lost their away fixture to the Mumbai Indians; in Match 15 played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, CSK were handed their first loss of the season. That result was one of three setbacks the defending champions have suffered so far this season. In their most-recent outing, they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad at home.

The Mumbai Indians, who return to action after a 5-day break, have six wins from ten matches and occupy third place in the table. In their previous match, MI were defeated by the Rajasthan Royals; a break at that stage would have given them the opportunity to refresh themselves and chart out a course for the remaining part of the season.

As one would expect, given their positions in the points table, there aren’t too many major issues for the two teams to address; the focus will be on re-employing the formula that’s served them well so far this season, fine tune certain areas and establish momentum going forward.

One more win for CSK, who are undefeated at home so far this season, will seal their playoff spot, while a win for MI will take them one step closer to the next stage.

When

26 April 2019, 8pm IST

Where

MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Previous Match XIs:

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Krunal Pandya, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.

Protagonists

Shane Watson’s prolonged poor form would have started to be a concern, but with his scintillating 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, that’s a worry swept of one small list of worries. The Australian has been hitting the ball well, and it was only about him producing the results in a match-scenario, and he delivered at a good time. Suresh Raina’s lack of consistency – not the lack of runs – must irritate the CSK management; but the left-hander is a big-match player, and the management will back him to come good sooner rather than later.

Quinton de Kock is Mumbai Indians’ top run-getter. The left-hander squandered away several starts in the first half of the season, but has posted two reasonably big scores in the last few matches. MI will want him to carry that form through the rest of the tournament.

Expect plenty of fireworks in the closing overs. MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya have consistently destroyed opposition bowlers; both batsmen have struck 17 sixes each – the former has hit one every six balls on an average and the latter one every four balls.

Given the Chennai surface’s reputation to assist the spinners, expect the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir to have a huge say – particularly given MI’s poor returns against spin this season. MI, meanwhile, will want Jasprit Bumrah to improve his dismal record against CSK; the pacer has taken only 1 wicket in five matches against CSK.

Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Overall: Matches – 25, Chennai Super Kings – 11, Mumbai Indians – 14

Trivia

Mumbai Indians have the most wins against the Chennai Super Kings.

MI have lost wickets to spinners more frequently than any other team this season; on an average, they’ve lost a wicket every 19.8 deliveries to the spinners.

Against spinners this season, Rohit Sharma averages 9.80 and has been dismissed on 5 occasions. The MI captain can be expect a trial by spin at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, where he averages 16.20 from 6 IPL innings.

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