The greatest rivalry in the IPL is set to resume. Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), will battle it out in match 27 of IPL 2021 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. CSK are table-toppers at the moment with five wins and one loss from six matches. MI, on the other hand, have had mixed returns. After six games, they are at the fourth position with three wins and as many losses. In their last match, CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by seven wickets. MI, after a couple of losses, also got the better of Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets. As MI and CSK renew their rivalry tonight, here are three-player battles to watch out for.
1. Quinton de Kock vs Deepak Chahar
MI opener Quinton de Kock roared back to form with a stroke-filled 70 in the franchise’s impressive seven-wicket triumph over Rajasthan Royals. When in form, de Kock is a hugely important batsman for MI. At the top of the order, he can make great use of the field restrictions and keep finding the boundaries at will. As such, he has the ability to put the opposition under pressure by taking the attack to them. He also loves playing the big innings. With Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav having lost a bit of touch, de Kock’s return to form has been timely.
It has been all of nothing for CSK pacer Deepak Chahar in IPL 2021. Twice during the season, he has scythed through opponents’ batting with four-wicket hauls – first against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and then against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). In the big match against MI, Chahar would want to raise his game being a senior bowler. His tussle with de Kock at the top of the other could be momentum-changing, depending on who wins it.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Jasprit Bumrah
After a few poor games at the start, Ruturaj Gaikwad has lifted himself really well yet again. He has cracked sizzling half-centuries in recent games and, even when not doing so, he has featured in important partnerships for CSK at the top of the order with Faf du Plessis. Gaikwad can score at a very quick pace, as seen in the last game against SRH, where he took the game completely away with a blazing half-century.
Gaikwad will face a massive challenge as opener from MI’s Jasprit Bumrah. The opening bowler has been excellent for the franchise in this season as well. In the last match against RR, he only gave away 15 runs in his four overs while picking up a wicket. Gaikwad is someone who will look to take the attack to MI. But Bumrah is someone he will need to be extra careful against.
3. Moeen Ali vs Rahul Chahar
Moeen Ali has been the perfect number three for CSK in IPL 2021. When they have lost early wickets or have got off to a slow start, he has almost every time come in and pushed up the scoring rate. On days when Faf and Gaikwad have got them off to brilliant starts, he has again come in and maintained the momentum. Either ways, he has proved to be an asset with the bat.
Ali could come across MI leggie Rahul Chahar during the course of the game. Chahar has done really well for MI this season as well. He has been going from strength to strength. Every time the franchise has needed a wicket, Chahar has, more often than not, delivered. In the last game as well, he claimed two crucial scalps, sending back both the set openers, to stall RR’s progress. Given his role in the team, Ali will have to attack Chahar. It will be an interesting challenge as both players are high on confidence.