In the 12 seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL), one rivalry has grown every year. It’s the battle between two of the most successful teams in IPL history — Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK). It was the same last year as well, with honours being shared between the sides, both winning away from home.
Mumbai, the three-time champs, are notoriously slow starters and their stars have had to literally play out of their skin every time to take their side at least to the play-offs in previous seasons. And, the story this time seems to be no different.
The spinners in the team, Mayank Markande and Krunal Pandya, too, have not been able to contain the flow of runs thereby increasing the headache of the think-tank.
Chennai, on the other hand, are sailing along smoothly with Dhoni holding centrestage. He smashed an unbeaten 75 against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday and his ability to stay unruffled irrespective of the situation seems to be working magic on his teammates, who have responded brilliantly.
Nevertheless, as in the past, stats will hardly be relevant when the league’s two most popular sides walk out at the Wankhede, and Mumbai will hope their home ground proves to be a fortress that CSK won’t be able to breach.
They currently occupy top spot in the IPL points table with three wins in three. Starting off the season with a confident win over RCB, they’ve added to that by beating DC and RR. In their most recent fixture, MS Dhoni rolled back the years with a robust 75 run knock with CSK languishing at 27/3.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI
MI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard/Evin Lewis, Lasith Malinga/ Jason Behrendorff, Mayank Markande, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock and Mitchell McClenaghan/ Alzarri Joseph
CSK: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner/ Scott Kuggeleign, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh