Last year’s finalists Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will start off this season’s Indian Premier League at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday, 19th September. Two of the most consistent teams in the IPL, Chennai and Mumbai faced off in last year’s final with Mumbai edging it out by 1 run. With 3 titles, CSK will be looking to catch up with MI’s 4 triumphs while the latter will look to extend their lead. Both the teams will look to get off on a positive note.
Playing condition: Talking about playing at Sharjah, the pitch mostly supports for the team that comes to chase in the 2nd innings. So the toss is the key, in all domestic T20s the team that batted first won only 14 times against second with 29 times. The average total off this venue is slightly above 150 with 22 times scoring below that out of 44 innings. It will be hot during the start of the match and will maintain the same till the end of the match with about 2 or 3-degree difference, so the dew won’t be an issue but the team that batting first here will be straightly going under pressure.
In 6 IPL matches that have been played in Sharjah before, the team batting first won 2 matches while batting 2nd won 4 times. Considering the pitches and squad strength we have come up with the best playing XI for each team that playing tomorrow.
Mumbai Indians: Quinton De Kock(WK), Rohit Sharma (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Chennai Supers Kings: Faf Du Plessis, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK)(Captain), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.
Players to watch out for
1) Ravindra Jadeja – Jadeja is an asset to have in any limited-overs side with his ability to contribute in all departments. He can get through his overs quickly and can save a lot of runs on the field, Also his batting prowess late down the order has often proved to be handy for the teams he has played for.
2) MS Dhoni – The former India captain has recently retired from international cricket and that is set to allow him to operate with a free mind. Dhoni is another person who can contribute in multiple departments with his quick work behind the stumps and his ability to both anchor and finish the innings.
3) Kieron Pollard – Pollard is a T20 legend in his own right. He is one of the best fielders in the business and his cutters with the ball are more than effective in this format as seen in recently concluded CPL. Also, his big-hitting ability is an asset for any team.
4) Rohit Sharma – Rohit Sharma will continue to open for MI as he did last season. The IPL’s most successful captain will also be entrusted with the job of batting through the innings and lead Mumbai to a big score.
We need to used to get to the conditions, it is different, the heat factor is different here, and there are a lot of challenges facing the team, I’m sure it is for other teams as well, but we have spoken about it, we will make sure that everyone gets into that phase pretty quickly,” – Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach.
“The first game is always full of anxiety, nerves and excitement, and CSK-MI has added extra excitement and pressure and we enjoy that. We’ve earned the right to play the first game by playing well last year, and given the way the final finished last year, it’s nice to have another crack at MI. They are a very good side and it gives you a good gauge as to how the pre-season has gone and the areas that need improvement. You get a good idea after the first game as to where your team is sitting,” Stephen Fleming told CSK’s website.
MI vs CSK in numbers
Head to Head
MI – 17
CSK – 11
MI – 6
CSK – 3
MI – 5
CSK – 2
MI – 6
CSK – 6
Most runs – Suresh Raina (704 runs)
Most wickets – Lasith Malinga (31 wickets)
Most fifties – Rohit Sharma(7)
High Score – Sanath Jayasuriya(114*)
Best bowling figure – Harbhajan (18/5 for Mumbai)