MI, CSK renew rivalry in first qualifier

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Cricket
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Old battles are set to reignite in the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium © BCCI
In Indian Premier League’s (IPL) short eight-year history, no matchup attracts the same billing as a clash between perennial heavyweights Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI). Two passionate cricket metropolises, superstar cricketers and seven domestic T20 titles between them (CSK 4 – 3 MI) is a sure shot recipe for a marquee clash.A lot has changed since Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith bulldozed MI early in the season, forcing Rohit Sharma to bemoan his team’s attitude. While CSK strutted to the playoffs for the eighth successive season on the back of sheer consistency, MI scratched around, huffed and puffed before eventually rediscovering their mojo to qualify second.

A defeat in the first qualifier is not the end of the road but both sides realize the benefits of a win besides the all-important place in the final – One match lesser, extra days of rest and lesser travelling – vital in a tournament as stretched out as this one. MI versus CSK is the most evenly contested rivalry with their past 22 meetings split 11-11. In IPL 2015 too, the teams split the league fixtures, with each winning at the other’s home.

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Date: May 19, 2015
Time: 20:00 IST
Weather: Mostly warm with a high of 33 degree Celsius and a 10% chance of rain.

Team News:

Chennai Super Kings

CSK’s ploy of giving Michael Hussey a game before the play-offs failed to serve the purpose after the Western Australian was dismissed in the first over against KXIP. He will, however, hold on to his spot in the clash along with Dwayne Smith, who will return to the opening slot vacated by Brendon McCullum’s departure. The team will take a call between the steady Ishwar Pandey (11 wickets at 7.19 RPO) and Mohit Sharma (11 wickets at 8.43 RPO) for the medium pacer’s slot.

Probable XI: Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Dwayne Bravo, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey/Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have a quick turnaround from their final league game in Hyderabad and the physios will be working overtime to ensure none pull up sore on the morning of the clash. Thankfully for them, they play the crucial qualifier at the Wankhede stadium where they hold a 4-2 advantage over CSK in all IPL. They are unlikely to make any changes to the side that has served them well in the second half of the season.

Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jagdeesha Suchith, Mitchell McClenaghan, Vinay Kumar, Lasith Malinga

Stats and Trivia:

Suresh Raina leads the batting chart for most number of runs in MI-CSK clashes (557 runs at 34.89 and SR of 149.33)

– CSK hold a 4-1 edge over Mumbai in IPL play-off/knockout matches between the teams

– As many as 5 players who’ve played for both teams in the rivalry will feature in this game – Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Michael Hussey, Ashish Nehra and Parthiv Patel

Quotes:

We have made it quite simple, we adapt, we improve and keep the core of the team same.

MS Dhoni on the CSK’s secret to success

I talked to the boys about how we are actually playing two tournaments, we forgot the first half and do well in the next.

Rohit Sharma on how Mumbai Indians managed to qualify despite suffering a horrible start to the season.

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