The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face the Mumbai Indians (MI) in game 59 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. This will be the second meeting between the teams in IPL 2022. When they met for the first time, Chennai got the better of Mumbai in a last-ball thriller. MI have already been eliminated from the playoffs race. They have only four points from 11 games. In their last match, they went down to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) despite Jasprit Bumrah’s sensational five-wicket haul. They faltered in a chase of 166. CSK have only eight points from 11 games but have faint hopes of qualifying. In their last match, they humbled the Delhi Capitals (DC) by 91 runs courtesy an excellent all-round show. Here are five player battles to watch out for in the CSK vs MI clash.
1. Devon Conway vs Jasprit Bumrah: The man of the match for their respective franchise in their team’s last match, Devon Conway and Jasprit Bumrah will be raring to make an impact again. Conway has been sensational for Chennai since returning to the playing XI. He has scored half-centuries in all three matches that he has played since comeback. What has stood out about Conway has been the effortlessness with which he has scored his runs. In the game against Mumbai, Conway will be up against the fiery Bumrah. The MI bowler was sensational against KKR with figures of 5 for 10. It was not a performance that deserved to end up on the losing side. Bumrah will start afresh again. His first challenge against CSK will be to dislodge Conway.
2. Ishan Kishan vs Mukesh Choudhary: The young guns of the side will look to give their respective teams the upper hand. After an extended lean spell, Ishan Kishan has returned to form in recent games. In fact, his half-century was the only score of note in MI’s batting effort against KKR. He will be keen to build on the rediscovered form. At the other end, Mukesh Choudhary has also been brilliant for CSK with the ball after a poor start to IPL 2022. He has got the ball to move around and has been accurate as well. The last time they came face to face, Choudhary cleaned up Kishan with a brute. The left-hander will be keen to get his own back on Thursday.
3. Shivam Dube vs Murugan Ashwin: CSK all-rounder Shivam Dube has gone off the boil a bit after an impressive start. In the last match against Delhi though, he showed glimpses of returning to form, striking a quick 32 off 19 balls. Chennai would have high hopes from Dube since the left-hander has played some wonderful knocks and has displayed his quality. Murugan Ashwin has made an impact with his leg-spin for MI. He will be getting the ball to spin back into the left-hander. However, can he fox Dube with the one that turns away?
4. Tilak Varma vs Maheesh Theekshana: Young Tilak Varma has been the find of the year for MI in an otherwise disastrous season. He has come in and played fluent knocks on almost every occasion. Mumbai would be expecting nothing less from him in the big game against Chennai. For CSK, Maheesh Theekshana has done a good job with his mystery spin. He will look to bamboozle Varma. But the youngster is a fine player of spin. Will he succeed?
5. MS Dhoni vs Daniel Sams: The last time CSK met MI, Dhoni hammered Jaydev Unadkat to lift his side to an unlikely victory. This time, Mumbai might bring in Daniel Sams against him. The Aussie has overcome a poor start to the tournament and has been an asset at the death. He even won them a game against the Gujarat Titans (GT). But coming up against Dhoni will be a challenge of a different kind. Can Sams stand up to it?
–Renin Wilben Albert