The match which kickstarted the 2020 Indian T20 League season will be the 41st match of the league and will be held at Sharjah. CSK vs MI holds more significance for the team from down south than the defending champions as the ship seems to be sinking for Chennai.
MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Flemming sounded pretty downbeat after the loss in their previous match against Rajasthan and the most successful T20 bowler, Dwayne Bravo has also been ruled out of the competition. Chennai still mathematically have a chance of qualifying to the playoffs but the morale in the camp isn’t the best.
Their immediate opponents Mumbai Indians have suffered a couple of hiccups along the way, but look on course to making the playoffs yet again. Their last game against Punjab scripted history as it went down to a double Super Over for Punjab to clinch the all-important two points. Here are all the important numbers to look out for CSK vs MI.
Deepak Chahar vs Rohit Sharma
Deepak Chahar has been an important cog in his team picking up 10 wickets in the season, joint-most by a Chennai bowler. His love for the powerplay is well known and that is how Dhoni uses him. Against Mumbai, he has been pretty successful in the recent past. He has the joint-most wickets against Mumbai (9 wickets). His battle against Rohit Sharma will be a mouthwatering contest. He has dismissed Rohit twice before and has just conceded 35 runs against him.
At Sharjah where most bowlers will struggle, Deepak can stand out.
Rohit Sharma after getting two fifties in the first five games this season has not been among the runs, as in the last four games he has aggregated just 84 runs at an average of 24.00. Further, if we look at his runs in this season in phases, Rohit has not been able to capitalize the first six overs and has a strike rate of 114.65 and has been dismissed 5 times. That’s where his battle against Deepak will be an interesting one. Not to forget that we’ll be playing at Sharjah and Rohit should be able to dominate the Chennai bowling.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
In a team which has struggled to achieve many positives this season, Ravindra Jadeja has been a pleasant surprise for the three-time champions. He has done exceptionally well with the bat coming lower down the order and with the pitches cracking up he should come to the party with the ball as well.
Kieron Pollard was the man in form leading upto the tournament and has continued his good touch in the league as well. He has been Mumbai’s best striker of the ball and has been one of the best finishers in the competition so far. He would relish playing at Sharjah given the size of the ground and Mumbai should make sure that they give him enough balls in the middle to make a significant impact.
CSK: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C) (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir
MI: Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
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