'Responsibility' was MS Dhoni's buzzword when asked about CSK’s change in fortunes this year, with the skipper lauding his teammates for rising to the occasion in IPL 2021. There is no greater joy for a CSK fan than a win against arch-rivals MI, and Dhoni will hope his players step up on the big day.
CSK seamlessly adapted to their new home in the last game, dispatching Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) with a comfortable seven-wicket win. A tight bowling effort kept the SRH batsmen in check before the Faf du Plessis-Ruturaj Gaikwad show powered Chennai to an easy win.
After being left in a quandary by the sluggish conditions in Chennai, MI seemed much happier at seeing the smaller boundaries of Delhi. They too started their Delhi leg with a win, snapping out of their two-game losing streak with a seven-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals (RR).
MI will look to put together a consistent run as they want to move up the IPL 2021 points table. There is no better place for them to start than against CSK. MI have beaten CSK 18 times, with the Men in Yellow emerging victorious in 12 matches. Since CSK’s return to the IPL in 2018, they have beaten MI just twice in eight games.
IPL 2021: CSK vs MI Match Prediction
CSK are likely to go in with an unchanged line-up against MI. But one possible change could see Dwayne Bravo replace Lungi Ngidi.
MI are unlikely to tinker with their line-up as well, and Jayant Yadav should keep his place, considering CSK have numerous left-handers in their ranks. Mumbai's big call would be whether to bring back Ishan Kishan or another batsman, considering they may need additional batting firepower to counter CSK. If another batsman comes in, expect Nathan Coulter-Nile to make way.
Strong starts in the powerplay with both bat and ball have been the highlight of CSK’s IPL 2021 campaign, and they will look to make early inroads with the ball against MI. Wickets at the top will allow them to get to Mumbai's middle-order, who are under pressure to fire. Deepak Chahar will be expected to lead from the front, considering he has the most wickets in the powerplay overs (7) in IPL 2021.
On the batting front, Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad average 62 while opening this season, and they will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing an MI attack that has struggled to pick up wickets (3 wickets) in the powerplay overs this season. But CSK’s top-scorer Du Plessis would be a bit wary of MI speedster Trent Boult, considering his poor record against the New Zealand speedster. Boult has dismissed the South African twice in the IPL, conceding just 34 runs in 36 balls.
CSK have scored at 13.24 an over at the death, the best in IPL 2021. But their batters may be up against their toughest assignment so far this season, with Jasprit Bumrah’s death-over economy of 6.54 being the best among those who have bowled at least four death overs in IPL 2021.
So there are match-ups galore all the way. From the captaincy battle between Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni to the clash of all-rounders involving Kieron Pollard and Ravindra Jadeja, the CSK vs MI encounter is an unmissable one for any cricket fan.
The skipper winning the toss is likely to bowl first, with chasing teams having a 77.77% win rate since IPL 2019. Toss and dew are likely to be a huge factor in the context of the game, and there is a high chance that the toss result will mirror the match result.
Although CSK are the team in form, MI have just started to hit the ground running in IPL 2021. Mumbai, who have historically picked up pace as the season progresses, are likely to beat CSK to extend their winning momentum to two games.
Prediction: MI to win