IPL 2019 – Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – CSK Predicted Playing XI
Mumbai Indians is the only team who defeated Chennai Super Kings twice this season and the IPl juggernauts will lock horns in a crucial contest again in the first qualifier at Chepauk.
Updated - May 6, 2019 5:32 pm
At one point, it looked like Chennai Super Kings would comfortably finish in the top two if not the top position. However, towards the end, they had to scrap hard to finish at the second spot. They won seven out of their first eight games before losing four out of their last six.
They received a pretty heavy beating at the hands of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their final league game. 170 was chased down with ease and there was a point in the game when it looked like maybe KXIP may just get to the target in 14.2 overs putting CSK’s net run rate behind Delhi’s. However, CSK did decently drag the game and ensure they finish in the top two.
They face Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first Qualifier. The Rohit Sharma-led side is the only team to beat CSK in Chennai in the last few years. MI beat CSK in 2015 before beating them again earlier this year. Hence, MI will provide a stiff challenge to CSK despite the latter enjoying a home game.
Openers (Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis)
The top-order has been a concern for CSK this season. Shane Watson has just not been able to deliver. Barring that score of 96 against SRH, he’s barely been able to get going. The former Aussie all-rounder has struggled and his timing is far from it’s best. However, CSK will not drop Watson. As he showed in the 2018 IPL final, he can turn it around very quickly.
Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis stroked a beautiful 96 and missed out on a hundred. However, his form has been scratchy as well. He’s got a few good starts but has failed to capitalize and kick on. But when the going gets tough, you can bank on the South African skipper. He showed that in the last game and also, in the first Qualifier in the 2018 IPL.
Middle-order (Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Dhruv Shorey)
Suresh Raina has finally found form. He’s struck a couple of good half-centuries in the last two games. What’s been impressive is, he’s looked fluent and has found his timing. Ambati Rayudu has been one of the big disappointments this season for CSK. His aggregate is just 219 runs at an average of 19.90 this season. Meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav injured his shoulder and is most likely to be ruled out of the remainder of the tourney.
Hence, Dhruv Shorey who played when MS Dhoni was unavailable might get a look in the absence of Jadhav who’s injury according to Stephen Fleming doesn’t look good. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni has been sharp as ever behind the stumps and has been CSK’s best batsman as well. He’s remained unbeaten in six out of the nine innings he’s played while amassing 368 runs.
All-rounders (Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo)
Ravindra Jadeja has been very good with the ball this season. He’s picked up 13 wickets in as many games and is CSK’s most economical bowler. However, barring a cameo or two, he’s been dim with the bat. He’s blown hot and cold quite often with the bat in hand. CSK will be hoping that he can deliver if the need arises in the big games.
Dwayne Bravo isn’t having the best of times in this IPL. He’s been expensive, he doesn’t have great returns with the bat and moreover, he was injured for a couple of weeks. CSK might be tempted to give Mitchell Santner a go but they might not risk it in the big game and go with the experience of Bravo.
Bowlers (Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir)
Deepak Chahar has been one of the best new-ball bowlers in this IPL so far. He’s troubled quite a few batsmen early on and has given CSK some early breakthroughs. He has added another dimension to his armoury and that is death bowling. While he may go for a few, but his execution at the death has been really good.
Harbhajan Singh may have gone for plenty in the last game but he did pick up three wickets. Moreover, he’s played almost every game at the Chepauk this year and will continue to be important considering the slowish nature of the pitch. On the other hand, the 40-year-old Imran Tahir is CSK’s leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets and will continue to be vital in the middle-overs.