IPL’s traditional power houses – Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians – will battle each other in what promises to be a thrilling encounter at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Friday.
Chennai have already reached 16 points to occupy the top position in the table. They will be looking to secure a top two finish to ensure that they get two chances to reach the final.
Mumbai currently have 12 points and are in third position but will be looking to return back to winning ways after a surprise loss against Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai are known to save their best for the last and with four matches to go, the team will be looking to up their game.
A victory will take them to the second position but a slip up here will pull them closer to the mid-table rush for playoff spots. They have looked good in patches so far and will be hoping to fire on all cylinders. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have looked good while Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya are hitting the ball as cleanly as they ever have.
Rahul Chahar and Jasprit Bumrah have been among the wickets, Mumbai might opt for to insert somebody like Rasikh Salam or Barinder Sran in place of Behrandorff as he is likely to leave the team for World Cup preparations.
Watson roared back to form for Chennai in their previous game against Mumbai but lack of runs remain an issue especially for the middle-order, led by Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu. MS Dhoni seems to be playing his best cricket in a yellow jersey but has been plagued by back issues of late. He will also be having one eye on the World Cup.
The spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh has been exceptional for the home side. Tahir has picked 16 wickets in the tournament so far and is in the running for the purple cap.
Likely Playing XI
CSK – Watson, du Plessis, Raina, Rayudu, Jadhav, Dhoni, Bravo, Jadeja, Tahir, Chahar, Thakur/Harbhajan
MI – Rohit, de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Kishan, Pollard, Pandya, Krunal, Chahar, Bumrah, Malinga, Rasikh/Sran