Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians clash in a do-or-die game at Jo’burg on Saturday, October 20, in what must be arguably the most awaited clash of the tournament.
While neither team has won a game, MI have featured on the points table – thanks to a washed-out match – unlike CSK who have lost both their games so far. To qualify, either team would have to win both their remaining games and pray for Lions to get beaten in their final match. Unlike at Cape Town, the weather at Jo’burg has been friendlier and with luck we should a completed game on Saturday.
CSK’s vaunted batting has failed to fire. Du Plessis’s form has meant the exit of Hussey from the side and Dhoni might do well if he brought the Australian star back at the expense of Bollinger or Hilfenhaus (it will be a tough call given that these bowlers are likely to enjoy the bowling conditions at Jo’burg). Vijay and du Plessis will need to give the side a good start and the likes of Raina, Dhoni, Morkel and Jadeja in the middle order are more than capable of firing CSK to a good total.
Bollinger and Hilfennhaus will get assistance from the bounce and swing at the venue and Morkel could come good with the ball at long last. Ashwin is a reliable spin option while Jadeja’s bowling form could prove crucial to stemming the flow of runs in the middle overs.
For MI, Dwayne Smith has been consistent at the top of the order and with the likes of Tendulkar, Sharma, Rayudu and Pollard, the defending champions can match the CSK batting blow-for-blow. Like their rivals, MI have a strong lower middle order marshaled by the likes of Johnson and Harbhajan.
Historically, MI’s strength has been in their bowling and Lasith Malinga has always been the pick of their bowlers. The bowling effort will also be aided by Johnson’s pace and Kulkarni’s swing with Ojha and Harbhajan giving the side decent spin options.
This is likely to be close-fought thriller and the hungrier team on the day could walk away with the cake.
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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.