Match Preview – Mumbai vs Super Kings, Indian Premier League 2022, 33rd Match

Big Picture

It’s the El Clasico of the IPL – Chennai Super Kings taking on the Mumbai Indians.

History has it as the battle between two successful teams, between two top sides led by astute white-ball captains, whose planning and execution have almost always been perfect. The two teams combined have nine IPL titles out of the 14 seasons thus far.

But what about 2022?

The mega auction seems to have robbed both Mumbai and the Super Kings of their cores, as both teams are languishing at the bottom of the points table. While the Super Kings have won one out of their six matches, Mumbai Indians are yet to get a win this season. And so, the El Clasico will perhaps still continue to be a battle of equals this year.

First up, both teams can chat about their bowling worries over a cup of coffee – Super Kings have given away runs at an economy of nine while Mumbai are a tad worse with 9.6, the two worst figures this season. Both of them have conceded over 180 on three occasions so far. Teams are happy to see off the Jasprit Bumrah threat, which shows in his return of a mere four wickets in six outings, with an economy of 6.6 in the last five matches combined. That’s perhaps why Jaydev Unadkat’s figures of 2-32 against Lucknow Super Giants should be welcome, given that he’s quite economical in the middle overs.

As for Super Kings, Maheesh Theekshana‘s impact in the powerplay is hard to miss – four wickets in the three matches. It has helped them exert some control at the start, especially after missing their key bowler in Deepak Chahar. However, against Mumbai, who have lost the least wickets (one) and average 148 against fingerspin this season, Theekshana and Super Kings’ tactics will be interesting to watch.

One of the other areas of major concern for the four-time champs was Ruturaj Gaikwad‘s form. The orange cap winner from last season had a best of 17 in the first five matches before a welcome return to runs with a 73 against Gujarat Titans. Mumbai would hope their captain Rohit Sharma turns a corner, too, against their arch-rivals. He averages 26.7 as an opener in the IPL since 2000, which is only better than Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 19.6. Mumbai have won seven of their eight games since 2018, whenever Rohit has scored a half-century

A defeat for Mumbai could be all but curtains for their campaign while a loss could put Super Kings on the brink.

In the news

Devon Conway has left the IPL bubble to go home to South Africa for his wedding. He is expected to rejoin on April 24.

Kieron Pollard‘s strike rate of 172 against Super Kings is the most for him against any opposition in the IPL and could be the just tonic for his form revival.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: 1 Ishan Kishan (wk), 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Dewald Brewis, 4 Tilak Varma, 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Kieron Pollard/Tim David, 7 Fabian Allen, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Tymal Mills/Riley Meredith, 11 Jaydev Unadkat

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Robin Uthappa, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja (capt), 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Chris Jordan/Dwaine Pretorius, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Mukesh Choudhary

Strategy Punt

Super Kings should play Dwaine Pretorius over Chris Jordan, who has been expensive in the middle overs (economy rate of 11) as well as at the death (economy of 13.04). Pretorius has fared better with the ball in each of those phases in the two games he’s played, having an economy of 6.80 and 10 respectively.

In Kieron Pollard and Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai have two batters who can counter Dwayne Bravo, Chris Jordan and Pretorius. Both the batters strike in excess of 155 against the aforementioned bowlers. However, Suryakumar’s strike-rate against Ravindra Jadeja is 77 and he could well let Pollard, who strikes at 190, take matters in hand when facing the left-arm spinner.

Stats that matter

  • It will be the 200th T20 for Bumrah and 200th IPL appearance for Robin Uthappa
  • Bravo has 31 wickets against Mumbai, the most by anyone and third-most by a bowler against a particular opposition in the IPL
  • Gaikwad averages 54.1 in the powerplay since IPL 2020, the most among openers
  • S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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