The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are now preparing for a tenth-consecutive playoffs appearance (suspension excluded) and, having lost the hosting rights to Hyderabad this week, will look to continue building momentum for a potential eighth final.
They’ll be a tough task for a visiting Mumbai Indians (MI) side halfway through a tough four-game road trip, but a positive away record of W3, L2 in 2019 puts them in good stead to challenge the reigning champions.
Furthermore, MI are the only visiting franchise to have defeated CSK in their last 18 matches at the MA Chidambaram, winning by six wickets in 2015. Three of MI’s top six from that day – Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya – remain key players to this date.
Remarkably, CSK have won the toss in their last eight matches this year, but have won on both occasions when losing the coin toss in 2019, so don’t need it to go their way – particularly in Chennai, where they have won 68% (17 of 25) of their matches when the coin doesn’t fall their way.
Slow starts have not proven to be an issue for CSK either – their league-low average powerplay score of 39.5 has not prevented them from collecting eight victories, five of them in spite of producing the lower powerplay score.
CSK vs MI T20 – Probable XI
Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Mayank Markande, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
CSK vs MI T20 – Players To Watch Out For
Shane Watson (CSK) silenced his critics with a blistering 96 on Tuesday, scoring 63 crucial runs from 27 balls after being dropped on 33 by Jonny Bairstow.
Hardik Pandya (MI) is unlikely to grant him a second opportunity, having taken nine of nine catches in addition to his 241 runs (SR 189.76) and eight wickets (ER 9.52).
CSK are the second-best catching side (as of Wednesday morning), dropping just eight of 65 chances (87.7% success rate).
MI have won both of their 2019 matches as the outsider, including one against CSK. The average first-innings score at the MA Chidambaram in 2019 is just 137.6 (all-time average 163.3).