After 48 days and 56 thrilling matches, here we are to witness the first qualifier of IPL 2019, and it’s the reigning champions the Chennai Super Kings taking on the Mumbai Indians at Chepauk. Both these teams have won the IPL three times each and are determined to make it four this time around.
CSK will have an additional advantage of playing at their home. They have only lost once this season at their home which is proof that Dhoni and Co. know exactly how to play on such conditions.
Both the teams have won nine out of their 14 matches, and it will be exciting to see how these two teams fight it out to make a spot into the finals.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK has had a great run with all their players pitching in at crucial moments with the bat as well as with the bowl. A matter of concern for the team will be the unavailability of Kedhar Jadhav who suffered a shoulder injury during their last match against KXIP and has been ruled out of IPL. Murali Vijay or Dhruv Shorey might get a chance in place of Jadhav.
Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir will be the leading players for CSK as both of them have been exceptional at home. Also, Deepak Chahar has been the standout bowler for the team with his ability to strike early in the powerplay overs.
Probable XI for CSK
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay/Dhruv Shorey, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir.
As always, started slow but picked up soon, MI had a fantastic second half winning five out of seven games. They have defeated CSK in both their encounters this season and will be looking to repeat the same this time. Rohit Sharma scored 67 in 48 bowls last time he played at this venue and has been in great form throughout the season giving good starts to the team alongside Quinton de Kock.
Hardik Pandya has been the standout performer for the team with the bat as well as with the bowl and squad will be hoping he does deliver this time around also.
Probable XI for MI
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan.
Dream XI Prediction:
- Wicket-Keeper: Quinton de Kock
- Batsmen: Rohit Sharma (C), Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Suryakumar Yadav
- All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja
- Bowlers: Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh (VC).
Chepauk has not had high scoring matches. The pitch plays slow, and spinners are crucial here. CSK has home advantage and will look to dominate on home conditions. We will witness a close encounter with CSK having an edge at home.