Chennai Super Kings qualified for the play offs on the back of RCB’s defeat to DC in their last league match and will play Mumbai Indians at RCB’s home venue of Bangalore on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.
Historically, MI have had an edge over CSK with most games between the sides won by the Mumbai team. However, MI have tended to prevail in crunch games such as for instance in the 2010 IPL final.
While CSK have not shown the invincibility of the last couple of years, they have not relied on any one player. Hussey, Vijay, Bravo, Morkel and Hilfenhaus have had match winning turns and most of the others have chipped in with supporting performances. It is here that CSK have a clear edge over MI who have been overly reliant on Malinga in their bowling and on individual brilliance by a Sharma or a Rayudu.
That said, Smith’s promotion to the opening slot to partner Tendulkar paid rich dividends in MI’s last league game against RR and we could be finally looking at a settled batting order with Franklin bringing up the lower middle. Kulkarni’s brilliant performance against Rajasthan augurs well for Mumbai after Munaf Patel went off runs in recent games. The oreal worry in bowling is skipper Harbhajan himself but given Bhajji’s fighting quality, he could come to the party during the play offs.
The slow wicket at Bangalore might not be to the liking of Smith and Tendulkar who would prefer the ball coming on to the bat. And CSK have the bowling to exploit these conditions that are somewhat similar to those obtained at Chennai. On the flip side, CSK cannot expect much crowd support after having qualified at the local team’s expense.
Overall, Mumbai have proved the more resilient side of the two, winning close games through sheer grit. Given the mediocre form of Raina and Dhoni, CSK have lacked a finisher (despite Bravo’s lone brave effort). And that could prove the decisive factor against a never-say-die Mumbai.
CSK’s probable eleven: Hussey, Vijay, Raina, Bravo, Dhoni, Jadeja, Morkel, Ashwin, Jakati, Hilfenhaus, Mahesh.
MI’s probable eleven: Smith, Tendulkar, Sharma, Rayudu, Karthik, Franklin, Pollard, Harbhajan, Malinga, Singh, Kulkarni.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.