Harbhajan Singh has been in good form for Mumbai © PTI
By Bharath Ramaraj
May 9, 2014
Match No 33 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 will be played between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai. Mumbai have run into some good form at home by winning their last two games in IPL 7. First, they beat current table-toppers Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by five wickets, and then went onto beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by a margin of 19 runs. On the other end, Chennai Super Kings’ winning streak that had extended to five matches was stopped by Punjab, who beat them by a convincing margin of 44 runs.
The good sign for Mumbai is that their key player and skipper, Rohit Sharma, has come back to form. He made a fine fifty in their last game against Bangalore. Even all-rounder Kieron Pollard has been in very good form with the bat in recent games. In their last game against Bangalore, he essayed an important knock of 43.
Mumbai’s experienced bowlers like Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh have done well. But losing the left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan to a shoulder injury is a blow to their chances of doing well in IPL 2014.
Chennai’s batsmen too have been consistent in IPL so far. Their openers, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith, have been in prime form. MS Dhoni has provided finishing touches to their innings. Suresh Raina too has chipped in with useful runs.
With Chennai, Mohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have been among the wickets on most occasions. It has to be said though, in the game against, Punjab their bowlers couldn’t stem the flow of runs.
It would be interesting to see the tactics Chennai comes up with to stop Mumbai from winning on their home turf. Mumbai have been a force to reckon with at home, as their batsmen have generally enjoyed the even bounce and short boundaries on offer. But it has to be said that Chennai too have some fine batsmen in their ranks to deliver the goods at Wankhede stadium.
With both sides known as good fielding teams, it promises to be a close contest, especially when you consider that Mumbai have the advantage of playing at home. It is also interesting to note that Mumbai historically also have a slight upper-hand against Chennai, and are the only team to have bested CSK in more than half their encounters. One can only hope that the key players on both sides will deliver and give the fans their money’s worth.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Aaditya Tare (wk), Michael Hussey, Sushant Marathe, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Ben Dunk, Josh Hazlewood, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, CM Gautam (wk), Krishmar Santokie, Marchant de Lange, Jasprit Bumrah, Apoorv Wankhede, Pawan Suyal, Praveen Kumar.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Francois du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings, Samuel Badree, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, Baba Aparajith, Pawan Negi.
Time: 20.00 IST | 2.30 GMT
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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)