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Battle of champions as CSK takes on MI

Thursday, April 29, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Saturday, May 01, 2021

Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi

Battle of champions as CSK takes on MI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), the two most popular teams which have won the IPL trophy more number of times than any other team, would be renewing their rivalry as they face-off against each other on in a night-game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium (the erstwhile Feroze Shah Kotla stadium) in Delhi on Saturday.

Both CSK and MI lost their respective opening matches of the ongoing IPL-14, with MI losing the inaugural match against RCB and CSK going down to DC. CSK has since picked up its resources and is on a winning streak, remaining undefeated in next five matches successively. MI, though, has won two and lost two since its first match and would look to redeem itself against a high-flying CSK.

Batting order blues for MI?

Unfortunately for MI, captain Rohit Sharma’s opening partner and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock hasn’t been firing as he usually does; not scoring in five matches is certainly a cause for worry. MI can consider sending either the mightily talented Ishan Kishan or the irrepressible Suryakumar Yadav up the order and opt for another batsman from its reserve players’ list comprising Chris Lynn, James Neesham or even Arjun Tendulkar (who could be a surprising asset as he is a genuine all-rounder). In fact, MI even has the luxury of trying out uncapped yet promising Anmolpreet Singh as a specialist batter.

Bowling needs attention

MI has probably the best new-ball attack in the tournament in the form of the two B’s: Bumrah and Boult. However, its support bowlers like Jayant Yadav, Pollard and Krunal haven’t performed as per expectations. Rahul Chahar is okay but needs to be more consistent. All-rounder Anukul Roy (touted as Bihar’s answer to Jadeja) can also be tried as allrounders have the uncanny ability of delivering on all fronts: batting, bowling and fielding.

CSK seeks to solve the ‘Shardul’ puzzle

Shardul Thakur, who has earned himself the tag of a useful all-rounder after his exploits in Australia (in Shami and Bumrah’s absence) and who also did well against England too, has been off-colour thus far. He went for plenty of runs in ‘death’ overs and his continued lack of form may force CSK to look elsewhere for a bowler who could pick up wickets regularly and also handle the final (death) overs deftly. It may try out Aussie Jason Behrendorff or go back to veteran Bravo to do the honours.

CSK's batting is dazzling like a diamond at this moment and it would hopefully extend throughout the tourney. Battle of champions promises to be a humdinger, no doubt!

Expected XI:

CSK: Ruturaj, du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MSD, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo/Shadrul Thakur, Ngidi and Deepak Chahar

MI: de Kock/Ishan Kishen, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Arjun Tendulkar/Anukul Roy, Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.

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