It’s one of those moments of a typical Hindi movie where the mother has been waiting for his kid and after months and months of wait, the kid deboards his helicopter and runs towards his home. Yes, the day we all have been waiting for has finally arrived! The Indian T20 fantasy league is here and in the opener itself, we have the El Clasico of Indian T20 fantasy season on our hands: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings. While Chennai will be looking to avenge last year’s loss, MI would be looking to begin the season with a win (something they haven’t been doing since 2012).
When: Tonight 19th September, 7:30 pm
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Pitch & Weather Conditions
The pitch is a typical UAE track where spinners are going to get a lot of help alongside medium pace bowlers. The team batting first has always had an advantage on this track because with the humidity factor coming into play in the second innings, it will become a tad bit difficult to chase on this ground. The weather is expected to be humid with no chances of rain and the temperature will be close to 30 degrees in the Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings fixture.
Team Batting first has a record of winning 8 matches out of 9, so the toss is going to play a very crucial part in today’s season opener. Stay Tuned at the Sports and Hotstar network at 7 pm for the toss.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir & Deepak Chahar
Mumbai Indians: Dominating But Season Opener Vows
The opening combination of Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma is MI’s best chance to fire up the order as the South African will look to attack from the outset while Sharma is expected to take a few balls to settle himself. Ishan Kishan will need to step up to strengthen the middle order because Suryakumar Yadav has always been a dependable resource for the Indians. MI’s strength is in their destructive middle order with Hardik Pandya back in the side and looking fitter than ever and the mighty Pollard coming from an invincible streak in the CPL. The bowling department is being led by Bumrah & Boult and they would be raring to burn their engines tonight. Expect an lbw of Shane Watson against Trent Boult if he gets the early shape.
However, MI’s weakness lies in a proper wrist spinner and that could be a major setback for them in the entire tournament. Chahar & Krunal Pandya’s performances would decide how the game goes on for MI. CSK has a team that is good players of spin bowling so expect them to come down the track with their eyes lighting up (ft. Mahi without the helmet) Also, the last time MI won an opening game of the season was back in 2012 so, you know what we mean!
Chennai Super Kings: Dad’s Army Roaring To Go
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be back on the ground after almost one and a half years from that unfortunate Martin Guptill run out in the World Cup Semi-Final. Post-retirement, MS will be fearless and raring to play without any kind of pressure, as he does in the Indian T20 season so often. Chennai’s top order is in place backed by the middle order strengthened by Mahi & Bravo. Their strength is going to be the spin department with Tahir, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja & Piyush Chawala featuring in the game. Santner might come in a little late. Deepak Chahar & Dwayne Bravo will lead the pace department as Hazlewood might not get a game today. Bravo comes in after picking 500 T20 wickets so expect him to use his slower ones more often this tournament.
However, CSK has their concerns with Suresh Raina out of the squad. Ravindra Jadeja will have to take up that role of a firing left-hander with the bat and his bowling abilities will come in handy too. Rayudu, who has been away from competitive cricket for a while now will have to adjust quickly. The pace department might not see Hazlewood & Curran in the season opener so Chahar & Bravo can use their slower ones to good effect. The absence of Harbhajan Singh might be affecting the team considering the turbanator’s abilities to contain the runs during the powerplay.
Head to Head
Mumbai has the upper hand as they have won more games against Chennai than any other franchise in the IPL. Out of 28 times (the most two teams have faced each other), they have been head to head, MI has a staggering win-to-loss number registering 17 wins and 11 losses.
Gameplay & Prediction
Expect Rohit Sharma to win the toss and choosing to bat first. De Kock will provide a brisk start but Rohit will get out early. Suryakumar Yadav will hold the innings with a late flourish from Hardik & Pollard. The score would be close to 150 and 150 is a par score on this track (FYI)
CSK when they come to bat will lose Watson early but Du Plessis and Rayudu will hold stand for a while. Expecting Dhoni & Jadeja to finish off the game in a successful run chase. Key players could be a spinner from CSK like Tahir or Chawla in today’s game.
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