Mumbai have started out IPL3 in grand style, living upto their potential and reputation as this year’s possible champs. They ran into the steamroller that is RCB ,but outside of that, they have been perfect. Sachin has led his troops quite resourcefully, and also guided them quite beautifully with the bat. They’ve also had some tremendous success with the domestic players in the team  – with Rayudu, Tiwary, Satish all chipping in at various instances. Their bowling attack has not lived upto my expecations (I really thought Malinga would do far more damage), but still been adequate, with Zaks being the pick.

Chennai are clearly a team in transition.  It has now been quite clearly exposed that they are a team of 4 batsmen. 1 is not in the squad yet, the other’s form has been patchy and has been more in the news for the bat he uses than the runs he has scored.  The 3rd , their captain and middle-order enforcer  has gotten himself injured, which left their 4th batsman to take over, a task which seemingly seems to be a little too much for him. Their bowling too has been dismal, bordering on the ridiculous. 1 man’s return could make all the difference.

Form Guide
MI: W-W-L-W
CSK: L-W-W-L-L

Bowl-O-Meter

MI: 3/5

I feel a little generous giving a score of 3 here for the mumbai bowlers, who have looked decent without being menacing. Zaheer has been very tidy and picking up wickets, but much more is expected out of Malinga, who has not been lethal with those yorkers. Bhajji has 1 good game followed by 1 bad one, and the combo of Bravo , Mclaren , Pollard have been strictly ok.   Both the bottom line is that they are typically able to find 2 bowlers every game who keep their individual RR conceded below 6-7 and give the team a fighting chance. If Malinga comes ot the party, it would really help MI’s cause.

Jayasuriya back in for Mclaren – Jayasuriya atleast took some wickets! 🙂

CSK: 2/5

This has been dismal. Outside of Murali , there is no 1 bowler who you can bank on for a breakthrough, and Murali typically does not come in till end of the PP , by which a significant amount of damage can be done!  Tyagi was quite good the previous game, and he should hold his place. Albie continues his erratic run of form, much to the fan’s disdain.  Ashwin’s bowling and confidence took a beating in the last game after being made to bowl at crunch time, and Balaji has a lot to answer too , after getting Uthappad in that over.

I might think Ganapathy might come in for Ashwin.

Jogi Time should continue using his awesome powers of meditation OUTSIDE the field :D.

Bat-O-meter

MI: 3.5/5

Sachin is in tremendous form, and he guided them beautifully in the last game.  This has really shored up the Delhi batting. Dhawan came in for Rayudu but replaced Jayasuriya’s opening slot at the top, and really helped MI’s cause. Satish  was unconventional, not too convincing,but ballsy in the victory.  Tiwary played a crucial little innings. Pollard and Bravo haven’t been too active, and they need to be brought into the scheme of things.  Overall though, the batting has been effective and good, barring that RCB game.

CSK: 1.5/5

CSK’s batting line up are dangerously close to resembling a bunch of tail-enders.  Parthiv was simply outclassed by Steyn’s pace. Hayden looks lethargic and a shadow of his former self.  Badri and Vijay have been nothing short of terrible, and truly deserve a lashing from the team management. Raina has been strictly ok, but I am willing to give him the pass for inheriting some serious garbage.  The importance of MSD cannot be more magnified  as the middle-to-lower order’s performance has been outrageous in all 3 defeats. Bailey looked horrid , and Perera should walk in for him.  Unfortunately, Vijay and  Badri might retain their places simply because there’s nobody else in the team!

Perera for Bailey

Match Ups:

CSK Bowling vs MI batting: ADVANTAGE MI

Tendulkar, Tiwary, Dhiwan, Calypsos against Balaji and friends? Yeah gimme some of that!

MI needs to play out Murali’s 4 overs. That’s it, the win is yours. Murali is the only bowler in form, and he has been quite good in the last couple of games. Tendulkar , who has seen a lot of Muttiah, needs to stick around and play the long one.  Jayasuriya back in might help , and he can counter the spin later down the order, where he should play.

CSK  need to use Balaji and make him play a Vinay Kumar like role, and get Tendulkar with some low in-cutters. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done with the kind of  hammering Balaji took.  Another option would be to use Raina or Murali himself for an over or 2 within the PP.

CSK Batting vs MI Bowling : ADVANTAGE MI

Unfortunately, with or without MSD, MI holds the they keys to the car. Zaks and Malinga on song should be a big enough test for Haydos .  Snuff Raina out with a combination of Malinga and some short pitched deliveries, and the CSK batting basically bends over thereon.

For CSK, hope for miracles, a bunch of them. Hope for MSD to recover fast. Hope for Hayden to be devastating. Hope that Vijay and the rest of the folks can collectively score more than 30.  Hope that the butter is off their fingers.  A lot of hope.

Prediction

I got my fingers burnt today with DD winning over RCB.

I am not going to go wrong on this one. MI is a better prepared team and hold all the cards.  CSk has nothing going for them at all.

CSK wins a shocker. I have to go against the grain.

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