This one’s going to be quite an exciting match. Both teams have been in fairly good touch. MI needs just a couple more wins to confirm their SF position, while CSK need a few more going.  Mumbai looks like a complete team, with their batsmen and bowlers chipping in regularly in all their victories, while Chennai have rode on some brilliant individual performances of Murali Vijay to string together a run.

Bowl-O-Meter

MI : 3.5/5

Consistency seems to be their middle name. Between Malinga, ZaK, Bhajji, Mclaren, Pollard, Bravo, MI always seem to find the right man for the right time. Whether it’s getting the critical breakthrough, bowling that tight over, keeping things relatively quiet, or running through the tail, someone always seems to put their hands up. Backed by Sachin who has not shied away at trying out Bhajji with the new ball, MI bowlers have been on a roll.

No Changes expected.

CSK: 2/5

After scoring an astounding 240+ score, the CSK bowlers almost threatened to lose it for their team.  Chennai have had the immediate benefit from the addition of Bollinger , who turned in a stunning spell admist that run feast in his very first match.  Murali had an off day, and Morkel a nightmare, but they will be under pressure to raise their level against the table leaders. Jakati and Tyagi too got ripped apart by Watson and Ohja, but they’d be expected to retain their places. It is Morkel who disappoints immensely from a bowling standpoint.  If I was part of the team management. I’d sit Morkel out, despite his destructive ability with the bat. I will explain why , in a bit.

Morkel sits out.

Bat-O-Meter

MI : 3/5

Sachin is in 2nd place in the highest run-getters list, and also has one of the best Strike rates, and shockingly, just 1 six in all games!! Incredible , isn’t it? Shikar Dhawan opens with him , and has been fairly successful. Rayudu and Tiwary have been very good indeed, while Pollard and Bravo have yet to shine.  I’d still imagine that they won’t disturb the winning line up and continue in the same vein.

CSK: 3/5

Most of the 3 rating has been earned by the 1 man army of Murali Vijay. The manchild that is MV has been in phenomenal form for the last 3 games, with each innings getting progressively better.  So much so that Hayden and the rest have been bystanders in his path of destruction.  Where Chennai suffer is in their suspect middle order. Raina, Badri , MSD have been either inconsistent , or haven’t had much of a bat. Morkel can be a handful as he proved in the previous game, but such innings from him are few and far.  I would bring in Mike Hussey to lend stability into the middle order.

Hussey in for Morkel

Match Ups

CSK Bowling vs MI Batting: Slight advantage MI

Bollinger and Murali are they key here, and their 8 overs will pretty much dictate the MI innings. Murali will be keen to teach a lesson or 2 to Tiwary and Rayudu, while Bollinger will be expected to keep Sachin quiet. The pressure is on Dhawan to up the tempo for MI and keep it going.  MI also should try promoting Pollard up again to get some momentum.

CSK Batting vs MI bowling: EVEN

Hussey needs to get in for CSK. Facing and scoring against the likes of Malinga and Zak is NOT easy, and requires quite a bit of technique and staying power. Hussey is the man for that. Expecting Badri and friends to do it might not help.  Sachin should try to open with Bhajji and Malinga against Haydos and Vijay. Vijay might find the slingy action of Malinga too hot to handle.


Predictions

The only way for CSK to win this game is to out-bat Mumbai. They will not be able to do it with the conventional approach. The humidity played a part against the RCB win, but MI have enough local players and youngsters who can cope all too well with it. Chepauk is also the Maestro’s lucky ground. This one will be a cracker. Vijay has 3 good innings , and is due for a failure.  Hayden CSK will steal the W here

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