Match Preview – MI vs CSK 29th Match, IPL

Match details

Mumbai Indians (P5 W2 L3 7th) vs Chennai Super Kings (P5 W3 L2 3rd)
Mumbai, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture

It’s the IPL’s biggest rivalry. At the Wankhede Stadium. On a double-header Sunday. But has the rivalry mellowed down this time? Possibly because it’s the first time in over a decade the CSK-Mumbai game will not witness Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni as captains, as Hardik Pandya and Ruturaj Gaikwad have taken over at the helm. So, what’s in store in this new era?

Two away games and two losses. It’s a small sample size, but CSK are yet to post a win away from home in this IPL. After winning three out of five games, they now go on the road – the first stop is Mumbai and then Lucknow – before going back to Chepauk after 15 days. Can they be at home, away from home, when they meet a strong host?

Mumbai, though, registered two wins in a row after succumbing to three straight defeats. The turnaround was possible due to their strong batting performances. Their top six batters strike at more than 147 each and this firepower reflected in their scores of 234 for 5 and 199 for 3 in their last two games, which were played at the Wankhede Stadium. With Suryakumar Yadav finding his feet sooner than later with a 19-ball 52 in his second game after returning from injury, Mumbai’s line-up is looking solid again.

However, the same cannot be said of the bowling group. Barring Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai’s bowlers have been guilty of going for plenty of runs. They have been expensive at the death, especially, going at 12.31 runs an over – the third-most runs leaked by any team thus far in this IPL (before the Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals game on Saturday).

CSK would also want to tighten their bowling. In their two away losses in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad, their bowlers struggled for early wickets. There’s still uncertainty surrounding their pace mainstay Matheesha Pathirana’s participation. Against a dangerous Mumbai side on a seam-friendly surface, CSK will be expecting the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Deepak Chahar to do the bulk of damage.

Form guide

Mumbai WWLLL (most recent match first)

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai opted to bring in Shreyas Gopal as the like-for-like replacement for Piyush Chawla in their last game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. A fit and firing Suryakumar could be used as an Impact Player, swapping for fast bowler Akash Madhwal.

Likely XII: 1 Ishan Kishan (wk), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Hardik Pandya (capt), 5 Tilak Varma, 6 Tim David, 7 Mohammad Nabi, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Gerald Coetzee, 12 Akash Madhwal

Chennai Super Kings
Matheesha Pathirana did some bowling before CSK’s previous game against Kolkata Knight Riders at home but didn’t feature as a precautionary measure. Coach Stephen Fleming is hopeful of having his death-bowling specialist back for Sunday’s game or next Friday’s clash against Luckow Super Giants. While Mustafizur, who had to leave for home to work on getting a US visa, returned to the XI at Chepauk, Chahar had missed that match with a niggle. He might return to the team against Mumbai, if he’s fit.

Likely XII: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Shivam Dube, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Sameer Rizvi, 8 MS Dhoni (wk), 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Matheesha Pathirana/Maheesh Theekshana, 12 Mustafizur Rahman

In the spotlight – Bumrah and Chahar

Jasprit Bumrah is fresh off a five-wicket haul against RCB and has been phenomenal in containing the batters. He is the only Mumbai player to have an economy rate under six this IPL and he has claimed seven of his ten wickets in three innings at the Wankhede, at a stunning economy rate of 5.75. In an otherwise misfiring bowling unit, Mumbai will once again rely on Bumrah, the most experienced fast bowler in the attack, to keep CSK quiet, especially at the death.

For CSK, how Deepak Chahar performs in the powerplay will be key to their success. At the Wankhede, he has fared well in the first six overs, picking up ten wickets in ten games at an economy rate of 7.59. Chahar is also the only player who hasn’t played for Mumbai Indians to have taken wickets in double digits in this phase at Wankhede. With four wickets in four matches this season, can Chahar step up against the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav?

Stats that matter

  • CSK have the third-best death-overs economy rate (9.85) in IPL 2024 so far, with Mumbai at 12.31, the third-worst in the same phase.
  • Mumbai have bowled a total of 173 dot balls, the second-fewest for a team this season.
  • Pitch and conditions

    In the last match, Hardik Pandya termed the venue as a “chasing ground” – two of the three matches in this IPL were won by the teams batting second. After a low-scoring opening game in which Rajasthan Royals chased down 126, Wankhede has been a batting paradise, with a total of 834 runs hit in the next two games. One can expect another high-scoring match on Sunday. The surface has also assisted pacers traditionally.

    Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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