IPL 2019 | Dhoni Fitness in Focus in Powerhouse MI-CSK Clash

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 26, 2019, 10:45 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Dhoni Fitness in Focus in Powerhouse MI-CSK Clash

Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni walk out for toss. (IPL)

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 an extra spinner in Mayank Markande to ensure they have atleast three spinners on a sluggish Chepauk surface.

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.

Players to Watch Out For

Rohit Sharma – The captain has looked good but is yet to play a match-winning knock for his team.

The sluggish surface at Chepauk means his wicket will be valuable for Chennai. He has often saved his best for Dhoni’s men and will be looking for another special knock.

Imran Tahir – Tahir has emerged as the go to man for Dhoni when it comes to picking wickets. The South African has always delivered in the middle overs and has often stemmed the flow of runs. If Mumbai can tackle him smartly, then they can be set for a big total.

Team News

CSK – Dhoni has been having issues with his back but is expected to play in this game.

MI – Mumbai have replaced Alzarri Joseph with Beuran Hendricks but the South African is unlikely to feature in this game.

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, Markande
First Published: April 25, 2019, 7:14 PM IST

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1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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