IPL 2018, CSK vs MI: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) predicted XI against Mumbai Indians (MI)
It's the battle of the bigwigs, the second leg to this season's opener, but it doesn't feel the same. 20 days into the tournament, the Super Kings have found their path to success, but the Mumbai Indians are struggling to stay afloat, unable to close matches despite coming so close to winning them.
For the Super Kings, flying high after their stunning win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game, this could be the lineup for their upcoming clash:
Shane Watson: The Australian might have retired from international cricket a couple of years ago, but he's still showing shades of his old self with bat and ball. A century against the Rajasthan Royals, his previous franchise, a couple of games ago has sealed his spot at the top.
Ambati Rayudu: Flung up the order, a welcome change from the spot in the middle-order he used to hold for the Mumbai Indians, Rayudu has been a revelation for the Super Kings, and was the holder of the Orange Cap after their last game against RCB. Runs are flowing from his bat, in the powerplay and beyond, and CSK wouldn't want him to continue in the same vein.
Suresh Raina: He came into the tournament running high on confidence and form, however, he hasn't been able to take off the way he would have wanted to. Playing at the pivotal No.3 slot, Raina is due for a big score. Trust him to come good when it matters.
Sam Billings: An enterprising batsman who can change the game's course at No.4, Billings came good for the Super Kings against KKR, but hasn't clicked since then. A livewire on the field, Billings' potential to perform under pressure won't let CSK keep him out of the playing XI.
MS Dhoni: The hero of the previous game, Dhoni shut all his detractors with a knock that could be one of IPL's very best by the keeper. He's reaching new levels with his form with every passing game, and it bodes well for CSK, aiming to make a mark on their comeback.
Dwayne Bravo: Cool as a cucumber, Bravo showed in the first game that he hasn't lost his touch even with advancing age, breathing life into a dead game against the Mumbai Indians in the season opener. The T20 veteran knows his trade inside out, and can be banked upon when required.
Ravindra Jadeja: It hasn't been the best of times for Jadeja, who's been unable to contribute to his potential with both bat and ball. He's picked up one wicket from six games, and will want to put in a more sustained effort with the ball.
Harbhajan Singh: He's a seasoned campaigner, and he's played with the Mumbai Indians for years. 'Bhajji' is a crucial weapon that the Super Kings will be looking to unleash on his former franchise, despite the veteran spinner's indifferent form this year.
Shardul Thakur: On the fringes of national selection for a couple of years, Thakur got his big break recently, and will be wanting to prove that he belongs to the big stage by doing well in the IPL this year.
Deepak Chahar: He has impressed, albeit in bits and pieces, with his tight bowling in the powerplays, and his ability to extract movement in the air, and off the surface. The tall pacer can really put the brakes on the opposition batsmen.
Imran Tahir: A leg-spinner in T20 cricket, especially with the caliber of Tahir, cannot be left out of the playing XI easily. The 39-year-old can prise out wickets with ease, and at crucial moments, just like he did by snaring AB de Villiers in the previous game.