Usually it is difficult to separate these two teams for the kind of success they enjoy, although 2022 has not followed that theme.
Never before has an MI-CSK battle, without a doubt the most anticipated battle of the competition, been shrouded in such melancholy. The two have nine IPL crowns between them, but a total of one win in 12 games combined this season is a stab at the moment.
LLLLLL, that’s how the Mumbai Indians have performed so far at the 2022 IPL. Another L and they will have labeled themselves the unwelcome accolade of seven losses at the start of the season. No team has lost so much at the trot and MI’s is already the worst start in league history.
That’s uncharted territory for a franchise synonymous with success. After all, five titles in 14 editions in a competition as fiercely competitive as the IPL is no mean feat. Those who encounter Mumbai on April 21 are no mugs either and know a thing or two about offering trophies. But all said and done, adding a new title to the Cabinet seems like a distant dream for both Mumbai and… Chennai Super Kings†
In the post-auction world, both sides seem to have lost their luster, having conceded proven performers to other teams. CSK no longer has Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur and Josh Hazlewood; MI don’t have Quinton de Kock, Hardik Pandya and Trent Boult. And the ones that are there right now haven’t quite managed to fire. As a result, MI-CSK, midway through the tournament, is a bottom-of-the-table clash, with both teams virtually out.
At the heart of MI’s downfall is the failed trio of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah has eerily missed his wicket-taking power, having returned wicketless four times in six outings. Rohit has had his own drought, averaging 114 out of 19. Pollard has yet to pass 25, and while Ishan Kishan has some runs behind him, he hits just over 117.
Add to that the lukewarm return of Murugan Ashwin and the non-performance of Basil Thampi, Tymal Mills and Daniel Sams, MI’s position starts to make sense. But if there’s any reason for them to smile despite teetering off the cliff, it’s the returns of two young sensations, Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma, both of whom have shown a commendable flair with the bat, in addition to the usual panache of Suryakumar Yadav, to give their team something to cheer on in a season that is almost over.
Speaking of which, CSK is not much better, almost on the brink of elimination with just a single win to show with five defeats, the most recent of which was against Gujarat Titans in a game they gifted to their opponents. What has starred at CSK in 2022, among other things, is the ability to seize crucial moments in the game.
And what about the other stuff? Ruturaj Gaikwad has only put in one notable performance this season, Moeen Ali failed to deliver parallel to his standards, Ambati Rayudu failed to convert his starts and skipper Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni fell woefully short of runs . Aside from the exploits of Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube, CSK’s percussion is reduced to rubble.
With a batting unit malfunctioning, the least they could have afforded was trouble in the bowling department. But that’s how it turned out in the absence of Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne (played only one game this season). Mukesh Choudhary and Tushar Deshpande succumbed to pressure, meaning Dwayne Bravo and Dwaine Pretorius had to hide a lot more than they could. The only silver lining is Maheesh Theekshana, who has so far picked six wickets in three matches.
The odd-defying abilities of both teams are well documented. The question is, can they do it again, and from here?
Location and conditions
The DY Patil course has much to offer batters and bowlers alike. However, the record has been tilted in favor of the pursuers, who have won six out of 11 matches so far. But each of the last three nightly games at the venue has been a successful defense.
Playing combinations for MI vs CSK
MI may want to try Riley Meredith at the expense of Tymal Mills.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan (World Cup), Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Fabian Allan, Jaydev Unadkat, Murugan Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Tymal Mills/ Riley Meredith
Chennai Super Kings
After leaking 58 runs for no wickets in his quota against GT, Chris Jordan could pave the way for Dwaine Pretorius.
Predicted XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (c), Dwaine Pretorius, Dwayne Bravo, Maheesh Theekshana, Mukesh Choudhary
MI vs CSK Head-to-Head
Played – 32 | Mumbai Indians – 19 | Chennai Super Kings – 13
MI vs CSK broadcast details
Match times – 19:30 IST
television – Star Sports Network
live streaming – Disney+Hotstar