The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season sees its second half start on Sunday in the UAE. Second-placed Chennai Super Kings face familiar foes and defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. MI are placed fourth on the table, claiming four wins from seven matches in the first phase back in India. The Men in Yellow were in terrific form and will be aiming to finish in the top two. Mumbai Indians will back themselves after winning the IPL 2020 title in the UAE and also beating CSK in the previous encounter earlier this season.
Going into this match, CSK will be counting on the players who replace Faf du Plessis and Sam Curran to stand up. We might see Ambati Rayudu open alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad. Former KKR batsman Robin Uthappa could be handed a debut as well. Dwayne Bravo will add impetus to the side after winning the CPL crown recently. CSK boast of experienced campaigners and they will want to start well to kickstart their campaign strongly after a watchful show in India.
Mumbai, who have won the last two titles, are being backed to grab a hat-trick of honours. They played some terrific cricket in the UAE last season and things could be tailor-made for their superstars in the shorter UAE stadiums. They showed huge temperament against CSK and a win over a top team in form highlighted MI’s strength earlier this season. What bodes well for MI is that different players crop up each time and help the side win. Kieron Pollard stepped up and played a blinder in that game against CSK, chasing 219.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Dubai International Stadium. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
Prior to the cliffhanger defeat to MI post coronavirus hit the IPL camp back in May, CSK had enjoyed five successive wins on the bounce. They looked like the old CSK outfit, hungry for consistency and perseverance. CSK will miss Faf, who is nursing a groin injury. He has landed in the UAE and will play once recovered fully. Faf was on song with the bat and replacing him will be a tough ask for whoever comes in at his position. Missing Curran will also hurt CSK, who was terrific with the ball in the first phase. However, CSK have the familiar faces to fall upon and bring in substance against a prolific team like MI. Deepak Chahar will hold the key in the pace department. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round attributes will be massive. Moeen Ali can be on song as well. All eyes will be on MS Dhoni and how he plans his approach.
Confidence will be riding high for MI, who did a decent job in the first phase, besides playing a strong brand of cricket. Their last two performances were telling. MI have champion performers everywhere in the side and can change the momentum of games anytime during a match. Spinner Rahul Chahar has been tremendous, scalping 11 wickets so far. With the bat, the onus lies on Rohit Sharma, who has scored 250 runs so far (highest for MI). Going into this match, MI will be aiming to play another solid game and continue their run in UAE from last season. With Hardik Pandya fit and ready to bowl, MI have been handed impetus.
Probable playing XIs: CSK vs MI
CSK probable playing XI:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.
Mumbai probable playing XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Ruturaj Gaikwad
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali
Bowlers: Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard
All-rounders: Krunal Pandya, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja
Bowlers: Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Deepak Chahar
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
In batting, the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad are a must in the line-up. Rohit has been MI’s best batsman so far despite not getting the big scores. He can be the ideal bet upfront in providing the base. Meanwhile, Ruturaj showed his credentials as well for CSK. In seven matches, he has 196 runs and can get a good start.
Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali are must-haves in the Dream11 side. Moeen, at number three, can be explosive for CSK. He showed this back in India. Meanwhile, Jadeja’s terrific show across the three departments will be massive in terms of getting points.
In the bowling department, Bumrah and Chahar are two important picks. Both pacers can set the tone for their sides. Bumrah is excellent at death and can stem the flow of runs. Chahar can be productive upfront with the new ball.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain Choices
Kieron Pollard: The big-hitting West Indian can be an ideal choice as captain of the side. He has 168 runs under his belt, besides three wickets. What supports Pollard’s cause is that he can be a serial match-winner as seen against CSK back during the previous encounter in May. He was recently seen in the CPL.
Ravindra Jadeja: The all-rounder is a genuine captaincy material given what he brings as a player. His left-arm spin, ability to hit the big shots as a finisher, and being so lively on the field makes him a proper three-dimensional player.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain Choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Rohit Sharma and Chahar are the two top choices. Rohit was in strong form in the recently concluded Test series against England and he is a quality T20 specialist. Chahar has been very productive with the ball up front. He promises wickets for CSK.
Other choices: De Kock and Moeen
Pitch report and conditions
The pitch will get slower as the match progresses and anything around the 160-run mark will be challenging. Spinners will have a role and batsmen will need to make the PP overs count. Having said that, pacers will be in the game with their variations and cutters. As per reports, the temperatures will hover around the 40-degree mark and since the matches are late in the evening, the dew factor will be important.
The average first innings score in the IPL has been 144. However, the overall T20 average first innings score here is 158.
The two teams have faced each other on 31 occasions. MI have won 19 matches, whereas, CSK have sealed 12 wins.
MI have the edge certainly over CSK given their recent exploits. MI had a terrific season here last year and CSK struggled. It could be a close battle though.