Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 14 – Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
IPL heavyweights searching for first win in the competition
Match 14 of the Karbonn CLT20 2012 promises a cracking contest between two IPL teams; defending CLT20 champions Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings.
Both teams are searching for their first win of the competition; the Mumbai Indians have two points on the board from the washed out encounter against Yorkshire. The Chennai Super Kings meanwhile have ended second-best in both their matches; they conceded 185 – the highest total in the competition so far – against the Sydney Sixers and fell 14 runs short, and then suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of the Highveld Lions.
The Sydney Sixers have already qualified for the semi-finals and the Highveld Lions have one foot in. Given that scenario, the team that wins this contest will barely stay alive in the race to the semi-finals.
Saturday, October 20, 2012, 5:30 p.m. (9:00 p.m. IST)
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Suresh Raina has been, and will continue to be the most important batsman in the Chennai Super Kings’ ranks. The southpaw has timed the ball well in both his team’s matches so far, but his team will need a lot more from him if they are to pose a challenge. Faf du Plessis played an impressive cameo in the previous match against the Highveld Lions; for someone who has played a lot cricket on the hard tracks in South Africa, the Chennai Super Kings will need the 28-year-old to play more than just the odd cameo.
MS Dhoni walking up to bat at No.4 in the match against the Highveld Lions was a welcome sight. One of the most powerful strikers of the cricket ball, the CSK skipper has come under the scanner for batting too low down the order and not playing his natural game. With his team needing a win desperately, this might be MS Dhoni’s chance to answer his critics – both in terms of his decision-making and by performing with the bat.
Despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar at the other end, Dwayne Smith has seen his team off to good starts in both their matches by overshadowing his opening partner. After blazing his way to 37 and 26 in the two matches so far, the Barbados all-rounder has thrown it away. Given how well he is timing the ball, the Mumbai Indians will be hoping the 29-year-old can stay on and play a big innings.
Despite the enormous talent at his disposal, Rohit Sharma has been disappointing in the competition. Batting at the crucial No.3 position, he 25-year-old needs to do better than his scores of 25 and 27. On the bowling front, the Mumbai Indians have a lot of experience in skipper Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga; if only both players come good on the same day will it put a lot of pressure on the opponents.
Mumbai Indians hold the edge where their previous meetings against CSK are concerned. The two teams have met 12 times previously – in the Indian Premier League and in the CLT20 – and the Mumbai Indians have won seven matches, while the Chennai Super Kings have won the remaining five. In the most recent IPL season, the Mumbai Indians won both the league matches, while the Chennai Super Kings won the all-important Play-Off match.
Harbhajan Singh’s best bowling effort in Twenty20 cricket – 5 for 18 – was against the Chennai Super Kings.
The Mumbai Indians are the only IPL team against whom MS Dhoni has less than a 50 percent win percentage as captain of the Chennai Super Kings.
Both teams wind up their Group stage campaign at Durban on Monday, October 22. While the Chennai Super Kings clash with Yorkshire in the afternoon, the Mumbai Indians will take on the Sydney Sixers later in the evening.