Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways on Tuesday after defeating the Sunrisers Hyderabad by 6 wickets at the Chepauk. CSK were on a two-game losing streak prior to the match but now that the team's two primary batsmen - Shane Watson and Suresh Raina have found their form, they will head into their game against the Mumbai Indians on Friday as favorites.
CSK have almost sealed their position in the playoffs, having achieved 16 points from 11 matches. The performances of MS Dhoni and Imran Tahir have been the key to Chennai's success this year. Even Harbhajan Singh has played his role to perfection in the team's home games.
Chennai Super Kings will enjoy the home advantage when they take on MI at the Chepauk. The fans at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium have proven to be their 12th man since CSK returned to the IPL in 2018. The Men in Yellow are yet to lose a home game this season.
Mumbai Indians have been pretty consistent this term and also won their home encounter against Chennai earlier in the season. However, when it comes to playing on turning wickets, Mumbai rank below Chennai.
Apart from Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, Mumbai's batting line-up does not have players who can play spin well. Hardik Pandya has scored most of his runs against pace, while Ben Cutting and Krunal Pandya have not been in good form with the bat. The Kieron Pollard factor may be neutralized by the presence of Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh in the opposition.
Harbhajan can take care of De Kock, while Deepak Chahar and Tahir may handle Rohit Sharma and MI's middle order batsmen.
Amongst Mumbai's spinners, Rahul Chahar has emerged as one of the best spinners this season but the same cannot be said of Krunal Pandya and Mayank Markande. Chennai's batsmen have returned to form in their previous match against SRH and we saw how Watson dismantled Rashid Khan, who is considered one of the best spinners in this league.
So, Mumbai will be too reliant on Jasprit Bumrah and their top order batsmen to deliver the goods against Chennai.
Dhoni is a genius and knows the weaknesses of the opposition very well. Thus, expect CSK to seal their position in the top 2 after defeating Mumbai Indians at the Chepauk.
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