New Delhi: It is time for IPL’s El Clasico as Chennai Super Kings face Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium and two of the most successful captains in the history of the tournament, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, stand against each other. While CSK is coming after a home win, MI is yet to open its account in the tournament, and there can be no better venue than Wankhede to do so.
Both teams have formidable batting line-ups, at least on paper, while the bowling attack is a concern for them. Wankhede will provide an intense clash of batting and bowlers will have to hold their nerves if plans backfire.
MI needs others to step up along with Tilak Varma
In the last game against RCB, Mumbai Indians had a bad day with both the bat and the ball. Tilak Varma scored 84* off 46 while Nehal Wadhera and Arshad Khan played cameos. MI has big names like Rohit Sharma, Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav, who will have to step up and score. This team is known for historic comebacks and no one will be surprised if the top order goes on to score recklessly after a collapse in the last game.
RCB had an easy win as MI bowlers were unable to pick wickets and contain runs. Piyush Chawla bowled economically, but MI would need him to pick wickets. They have an ace bowler in Jofra Archer, but there is a lot of dependence on him. MI might try Riley Meredith in place of Jason Behrendorff, who came in as an impact player last time.
Magala returns to give hope to CSK’s bowling
Ruturaj Gaikwad is the X-factor in CSK’s batting line-up and has scored 92 and 57 in the first two innings. Devon Conway also contributed in the last game against LSG and their star skipper MS Dhoni has provided the required finish in both games. While they have a strong batting line-up they would need all-rounders Ben Stokes and Ravindra Jadeja to contribute more from the bat.
CSK missed many of its players initially, but with Sisanda Magala’s return, the team managements will have some sigh of relief. Magala is returning after picking up eight wickets in two ODIs against the Netherlands and earlier he picked three scalps in a T20I against the Windies. While Tushar Deshpande and others have not been able to contain runs, Magala might be the solution and he may come in place of Mitchell Santner, depending upon the toss.
Rajwardhan Hangargekar picked three wickets against GT and has shown that he can bowl well if given proper guidance and confidence.
Mumbai Indians surely has the home advantage and if SKY and Varma get going, CSK bowlers will have a tough day finding answers to their shots. The teams have not so good bowling line-ups and the audience can expect fireworks in Mumbai. MI would, however, need to curb Ruturaj or he has shown the capability to score big time and again.