IPL 2019 CSK vs MI Match 44: What can we expect from the IPL’s El Clasico?
CSK vs MI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium today is a fan favourite. © BCCI

Match 44 of IPL 2019 is between the two traditional heavyweights, Chennai Super Kings versus Mumbai Indians, in Chennai today.

Here are the talking points ahead of CSK vs MI:

El Clasico, round two

Fact: CSK have not last a match at home this season. Fact: CSK have lost five of their last seven matches against MI.

So then, which way will the tide turn? Can Rohit Sharma‘s Mumbai succeed at CSK’s fortress, the MA Chidambaram Stadium? Or will MS Dhoni‘s yellow brigade give their legion . of fans another reason to cheer at Chepauk?

Earlier this month, before MI hosted CSK at the Wankhede Stadium in a match which the home team won, Rohit termed MI vs CSK as the El Clasico of the IPL. The fans on both side will not dispute such a statement, for Mumbai and Chennai is arguably the hottest competition in the league.

PREVIEW: Mumbai Indians seek return to winning ways after mini-break

What type of surface will be rolled out?

After several slow and low surfaces at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, two of which came in for criticism from Dhoni himself, the last pitch for CSK’s match against Sunrisers Hyderabad was far more conducive to batting. On Tuesday, SRH made 175/3 in 20 overs and CSK chased it down with a ball to spare.

csk vs mi dream 11 team prediction today
Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians face MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings today. BCCI

Whenever the track in Chennai has assisted spin, CSK have dropped a fast bowler and added Harbhajan Singh or Mitchell Santner. After Tuesday’s faster track, on which just seven wickets fell and spinners on both sides conceded 181 runs in 20 overs while taking just three wickets, can we expect changes to both XIs?

With Mayank Markande struggling, MI could add another spin option in Jayant Yadav to aid the in-form Rahul Chahar.

READ: If I reveal CSK’s success mantra, won’t get any buyers at auctions: MS Dhoni

Watch out for Watson

After managing 147 runs ten matches, Shane Watson finally erupted on Tuesday against SRH when he clubbed nine fours and six sixes in making 96 off 53 balls to hasten CSK’s six-wicket win.

After the match, Watson admitted that in other teams he would have been dropped after such a long run of low scores and thanked Dhoni and CSK coach Stephen Fleming for keeping faith in him.

On the day in which he announced his retirement from the BBL to focus the remainder of his cricket career on playing select T20 leagues across the globe, can Watson produce another eye-catching innings? He has form on his side now, so it could be that the change has come for the veteran Australian allrounder.

READ: Today’s Dream11 prediction for CSK vs MI in Chennai

CSK on verge of playoffs

Dhoni’s team needs one win to confirm their place in the IPL 2019 playoffs. With 16 points from 11 matches, CSK sit on top of the points table and two more points will take them into the next stage.

Mumbai are at third place with 12 points, behind Delhi Capitals who have 14. A win over CSK will take MI level with Delhi.

Rohit’s form

The MI captain has not played one definitive innings this IPL. Nine matches, 228 runs with a best of 48. Something has to give.

While the team have found leading roles from Quinton de Kock and Hardik Pandya, Rohit’s lack of runs is a concern. In his favourite match of the tournament, and with the playoffs nearing, could this be the day that Rohit gets a big score?