Tag Archives: MI

Qualifier 1 Preview – CSK Vs MI

 

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Mumbai Indians will start as the favourites tonight in their crucial encounter against Chennai Super Kings

So after 56 games with 8 teams battling out for 4 spots in the play-offs, we are finally in the business end of the IPL 2019. Chennai Super Kings will take on Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier later today in the MA Chidambaram Stadium,Chennai. Mumbai Indians have been the team to beat this year. They have qualified at the top of the points table after the league stage and possibly have the best balanced side of the competition this year.

Their bowling has been brilliant throughout with Lasith Malinga and Jasprith Bumrah leading the attack and the batting has come to its own at the latter half of the tournament. Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav batted well and look in good form going into the play-off. They have beaten Chennai Super Kings in both the games this season and will start as favourites for tonight’s encounter. For CSK though the sailing hasn’t been as smooth. Despite being one of the top sides of the season, they haven’t quite performed as a team this season. Their batting has been a suspect and MS Dhoni has been the talisman who has dragged them to victories in some crucial games in the league stage.

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CSK will be hoping that their batters finally click in the all important game against MI tonight

Shane Watson except for the one innings has struggled and the rest have been inconsistent which makes their task much harder in the play-offs. The bowling though has done well especially at home with Imran Tahir being their chief wrecker. The biggest advantage though for CSK is that they are playing at home where they have been brilliant again this season. Their only loss though has come against Mumbai Indian whom they will be facing off in the play-offs tonight.

Key Players:

MS Dhoni (CSK) – There is no bigger player in the CSK camp at the moment than the captain himself. CSK have struggled in games when the captain has been absent and his performance on the field and the bat will be crucial for the success of the team. He so far has been brilliant and has scored 368 runs at an average of 122 with a brilliant SR of 139.92. He will for sure be the key player for the home side.

Imran Tahir (CSK) – Tahir has been the go to bowler for MS Dhoni throughout this season. He has been brilliant at home and in away games for CSK. He has been economical and has also picked up wickets at crucial moments for his side this season. He is currently second in the list of highest wicket takers this season with 21 wickets with a brilliant economy rate of just 6.5. On a slow Chennai pitch, he will be crucial in the middle overs.

Hardik Pandya (MI) – For MI this season, even though Quinton De Kock and Keiron Pollard have played some brilliant knocks, it has been Pandya who has been the X-Factor for them this season. He has scored 380 runs at a SR of 198 so far and will be crucial for them once again in the play-offs.

Lasith Malinga & Jasprith Bumrah (MI) – These two have been so brilliant this season with the ball that it is hard to separate them. Both Bumrah and Malinga have been hard to get away this season and they have also picked wickets at crucial stages through out. They have taken 32 wickets between them and have been fantastic at the death.

This game will be a cracker and both the teams playing tonight have won the IPL three times each. The advantage of finishing in the top 2 means, both these teams will get another crack at making the finals even if they lose tonight but that will be the last thing on their minds at the moment. Even though Mumbai Indians start as the favourites for this game, MS Dhoni & CSK cannot be written off in an important game like this. Don’t see many changes in the XI’s of both sides but due to injury, CSK have to look for replacement for Kedar Jadhav. For MI though they have been unlucky with the pace bowling stocks but for Chennai, they might need an additional spinner. They might bring back Mayank Markande in the XI for today.

 

Chennai Super Kings will start as favorites again

The IPL season 5 is all set to begin tomorrow in Chennai with a grand opening ceremony. Like in 2011, CSK (Chennai Super Kings) will again start as the favorites. They have been the most consistent team across the seasons with 2 wins, 1 finals and 1 semi-final appearance. The success of the CSK team has been their squad. They were able to retain almost all their key players who made their franchise a grand success. Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Mike Hussey, Badrinath and Dhoni have been pillars of CSK batting since season one. Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo have fitted perfectly well as the all-rounders in the middle order with Ashwin and Bollinger being the bowling stars.

Ravindra Jadeja has been the only addition to the already strong CSK side. He will probably play in the place of Jakati or Bravo in the squad. The addition of Ben Hilfenhaus will for sure bolster their weak pace attack this season. So overall like all the other seasons, it will be hard to write of Dhoni’s Chennai super kings. They will for be one of the favorites to at least reach the knock-out rounds.

Mumbai Indians (MI) has been the other strong side across the seasons. They were the losing finalists in 2010 and made the semis last year. With Tendulkar stepping down as the captain, this will be a great opportunity for Harbajan Singh to take MI over the line this time. The Mumbai team also has some great batters but their strength has been their bowling. The biggest drawback for the MI team has been their over reliance on Sachin Tendulkar to hold their innings together. The form of Pollard might give some relief to the Mumbai lower order this season.

RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) is the other team with an opportunity to win this year. The team is extremely talented and has Chris Gayle in their ranks. The in-form Indian sensation Virat Kohli was the only one retained in the squad from the season 1. The batting in spite of having some good hitters has heavily relied on Chris Gayle to provide them with a blistering start. This strategy of RCB cost them dearly in the finals in 2011. The teams realized that they just had to get Gayle early and they couple pressurize their middle order. They CSK bowlers succeeded doing the same in the one-sided finals last year.

KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) are the fourth team with a shot at the title this year. The team led by Ghambir had a great 2011 IPL and finally looked like a team playing to their potential. The KKR management completely revamped their side and it worked wonders for the franchise and they will be hoping that their team can go all the way this time too.

The other teams have been hardly consistent and will have to play out of their skins to challenge the top four. The IPL begins tomorrow with a clash between the defending champions Chennai versus Mumbai Indians in the MA Chidambaram stadium. It will be a keen contest but both teams for sure will be little rusty. Even though the tournament is exciting the length of the tournament is definitely a dampener. Hopefully we will see some good young talents coming out at the end of this season.

Chennai the “Super Kings”

How things can change in couple of weeks in cricket. I wrote an article couple of weeks back about DD and DC dominating the IPL2, but while DD are still at the top of the rankings, DC is fighting with the rest of the teams for the Semi-Finals spot. CSK have been the biggest movers in the last few weeks. They have now won 5 games in a row to move to the second place behind DD.

CSK have got the right combination going with Jakati and Tyagi being great additions to the team. Batting at the top has been firing for them and the bowlers are doing their job. CSK have almost got themselves at the door for the semi-finals spot. They have 4 games to go and 1 or 2 wins will ensure them a spot in the semi-finals. The only concern for the CSK is their fielding. They have dropped awful lot of catches in the tournament and almost lost the game against Kings X1 due to their bad fielding.

Dhoni was quick to acknowledge the same. They gave an improved performance against the Rajasthan Royals over the weekend but they have a long way to go in that respect. Batting has been phenomenal with Hayden at the top doing wonders for them with great support from Raina, Badri and Dhoni. Bowling has been adequate with Murali doing well with Balaji, Tyagi, Jakati and Morkel doing the support act. All in all it has been a brilliant week for the Dhoni’s men. I hope that they lift the trophy this year.

Delhi has continued their brilliant run in the competition with couple of wins over the past week and has done well without Sehwag. Ghambir has captained the team well and David Warner has done the job for them in the absence of Sehwag. Their bowling also has been consistent with Nannes and Nehra doing a brilliant job at the top and Mishra doing a good supporting act. I would like to see McGrath getting a game in the competition. Probably they can rest Nannes for a game and give McGrath a go as Delhi are almost a certainty for the semi-finals spot.

The Rajasthan Royals though have had a good week too. As I am writing this article they are playing Deccan Chargers in an important game. RR have won 3 and lost 1 over the past week and are currently sitting at number 3 in the rankings. Batting has been the biggest worry for the RR’s and Shane Watson pulling out due to injury would have been a big setback for them. RR though has found a good opening partner for Smith in Naman Ojha. He has been consistent and has looked good. RR though is still to find a consistent playing X1. They are also well placed for a semi-finals spot at this moment.

DC though has had a bad week. After four wins on the trot, they have just won 1 out of the next 5 games. They are barely hanging on to the top four at this moment with Kings X1, Mumbai Indians and BRC breathing down their neck. With KKR totally out of contention, it’s between, Punjab, Mumbai and Bangalore to compete to get to the top four this week.

Bangalore play KKR tomorrow and a win would place them in top 5 and a shot to push for the semi-finals spot this week. All in all it has been another fantastic week in IPL2 with constant changes in the ranking with every game. The top spot has changed at least 3-4 times over the last week which shows how close all the teams are this year. I am happy as my team has finally captured the form which got them to the finals last year and I hope that this year they go one step further.

IPL – CSK and BRC throw the tournament open

As I write this article, CSK have just thumped DC to register their 3rd consecutive victory in IPL2 to move to top position in the table. The last one week has been brilliant for BRC and CSK as they have shrugged of the indifferent form to get back into the tournament. This IPL is much closer than last year and it seems like any of the 7 teams (KKR excluded) can make it to the Semi-Finals.

This was a disappointing week for the Deccan Chargers as they have had 3 poor games in a row now. Their batting has failed and their fielding also has let them down. Dropped catches and misfields have cost them dearly in the last few games. Delhi Daredevils have also had couple of losses in a row now. Their batting let them down on both the occasions.

Sehwag and Ghambir haven’t fired yet for them and that is costing DD a lot in IPL 2. DD though would be really happy with the debut of Australian David Warner as he made a brilliant 50 against the CSK over the weekend.

The other team on the rise is BRC. BRC were the worst team in the first edition but this time they seem to have found the right combination. They thrashed Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets yesterday to register their 3rd consecutive win and fourth overall to reach the top 4. Kallis seems to be in great form and with Dravid back in the side and Boucher firing in the middle order they seem to be serious contenders for the semi-finals spot. Uthappa also came back to form with a brilliant 60 odd against the Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians and RR though have had mixed results over the last one week and are also in the running for the semi-finals spot with 3 wins and 3 losses. MI had their batting to blame against the BRC yesterday and it seems like they rely too much on Sachin and Jayasuriya to give them a good start. Kings X1 Punjab have also had a good tournament so far after losing their first 2 games. They have won 4 out of the next 5 games which puts them at 2 spot currently on the table behind CSK.

KKR are languishing at the bottom of the table and have had another poor week. They haven’t won any games in the past week and look like the only team who don’t have any chance of making it to the Semis. Their biggest problem has been their batting. Ganguly and Mccullum have been the biggest offenders. Brad Hodge has been consistent and with Chris Gayle going back to resume his National duties, it’s going to get tougher for them. The good news though for them is that David Hussey might be back for them this week as Aussies have wrapped up the ODI series against the Pakistanis.

There will be few Aussies who will return to join their franchises this week. Brett Lee will join Kings X1 and Shane Watson will join the RR. These two will be the biggest in terms of the effect they can have on their respective teams. Shane Watson is in brilliant batting form and is a good bowler and his return will give Shane Warne a big relief.

All in all it’s been another brilliant week of cricket with lots of close games. I am happy as my team CSK is doing great.