IPL 2020, CSK vs MI Preview: Dhoni's Super Kings look to rev up campaign

M.S. Dhoni and the Chennai Super Kings need to win its remaining four games and hope for some favourable outcomes from other teams to qaulify for the playoffs.

he two teams kick-started the tournament in Abu Dhabi on September 19 but the outcome of that match has not correlated with how the two teams have fared since then.   -  SPORTZPICS/IPL

The Indian Premier League's (IPL) fabled rivalry will return when Chennai Super Kings takes on Mumbai Indians in Sharjah on Friday. The two teams kick-started the tournament in Abu Dhabi on September 19 but the outcome of that match has not correlated with how the two teams have fared since then.

The Build-up

In the inaugural match, CSK defeated the defending champion by five wickets but, it has all been downhill since then with the Men in Yellow, winning just two of its next nine matches. A defeat on Friday will all but end the Super Kings' chance of qualifying for the playoffs. It needs to win its remaining four games and hope for some favourable outcomes from other teams.

 

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In contrast, Mumbai though is on a roll with six wins in its next eight matches since the opener. Interestingly, both of those defeats came in a Super Over, including its last one against Kings XI Punjab, that even went to a second Super Over. A win on Friday will move it one step closer to sealing its spot in the playoffs.

The four-time champion comes into the game as the overwhelming favourite based on form, resources and even the venue. The small Sharjah ground should only increase its advantage as it has the variety in bowling attack to counter the out-of-form CSK batsmen, while its explosive batting line-up could hurt Chennai.

The key men

The contest will be about how the brittle CSK batting line-up handles the threat from the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah. Mumbai Indians' superior bowling unit can run through the top-order and if that happens, CSK will be playing catch up.

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For Mumbai, its left-handers Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya could play a key role considering CSK does not have an off-spinner in its ranks. MS Dhoni has been reluctant to use Ravindra Jadeja against left-handed batsmen. If the wicket is slow, then Dhoni might be attacking with one hand tied behind his back.

Head-to-head: Total matches: M 31; CSK 13; MI 18.

Squads:
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi, Karn Sharma, Josh Hazlewood, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, R. Sai Kishore, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Digvijay Deshmukh, Aditya Tare (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Chris Lynn, Hardik Pandya, Sherfane Rutherford, Anmolpreet Singh, Mohsin Khan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Prince Balwant Rai, Anukul Roy, Ishan Kishan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Trent Boult, Jayant Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson

Match Details:
Game No. 41: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Date: October 23, Friday.
Time: 7:30 p.m.

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