IPL 2019 – Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – MI Predicted Playing XI

IPL 2019 – Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – MI Predicted Playing XI

Will MI make any changes to their winning combination?

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo: IANS)

It’s been a resurgent Mumbai Indians (MI) team this year. They have started slowly in quite a few years but this time, they were right on the money straight away. They did have a couple of indifferent games at the start but the form and the consistency was there throughout the season.

They never topped the table even for a brief while during the league stages. However, after they beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the last league encounter, MI sealed the top spot. It was one of their most clinical performances and the timing couldn’t have been better. This win helped them seal a date with their arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Rohit Sharma tipped this rivalry as the ‘El-Classico of the IPL’ and it is set to resume in the first qualifier. MI have won both their games against CSK this season and will be confident going into this encounter. However, they will likely make a couple of tactical changes to adapt to the nature of the surface at Chepauk.

Openers (Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock)

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo: IANS)

Rohit Sharma has been there and thereabouts this season but devoid of that big typical Rohit Sharma knock. His starts have often gone begging but the fifty against KKR would be a confidence booster. However, for the first time since the 2016 season, the MI skipper looks set to break the 400-run mark in the IPL.

Meanwhile, Quinton de Kock has been MI’s best batsman so far this season. He’s almost aggregated 500 runs and has been consistent at the top. The Chepauk pitch will provide a stiff challenge and there will be a lot of spin thrown at him. However, he has shown his the ability to adapt in different conditions.

Middle-order (Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard)

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo: IANS)

Evin Lewis who missed out in the last game might slot back in at No. 3. Ishan Kishan didn’t get to bat but owing the team combination, he might miss out. Lewis has played three games this season and may play his fourth in the first qualifier. He is yet to make a mark and this could be the best chance to come back into the groove if Lewis is included.

Like his skipper, Suryakumar Yadav has also wasted plenty of starts this season. He’s looked in great flow but has thrown it away. However, his unbeaten 46 against KKR in the last game was the most fluent knock. Despite not getting the big scores, Surya hasn’t looked out of form and has done well at No. 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Kieron Pollard’s highest score since that match-winning 83 has been 20. But he is a big-match player and hence, will continue to be a vital member of the middle-order.

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All-rounders (Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Anukul Roy)

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya
Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Pandya brothers have formed a core part of the MI side for a few years now. They provide impeccable balance to the side and are explosive cricketers as well. Krunal Pandya’s season with the bat hasn’t been great. He averages 19.56 and his strike-rate (123.94) is way below his career IPL strike-rate which is 146.84.

However, the younger Pandya, Hardik has been in phenomenal hitting form. He’s been striking sixes for fun in this season. In the last game, he won the Player of the Match for his bowling as he picked up two big wickets at the top. Hence, he’s contributing in all three departments. No doubt, Hardik is one of MI’s key assets. Meanwhile, with the Chepauk surface assisting the spinners big time, Anukul Roy may come in as the third spinner.

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