IPL 2019: Qualifier 1, MI vs CSK Match Prediction - Who will win today's match?
The league stage is done and dusted. Now, it’s time for the knockouts. Well, this is not quite a knockout as the team that loses this first Qualifier will get another chance to make it to the finals.
It’s the Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their third meeting of the season. These are the heavyweights of the IPL. They have won the joint-most number of titles (three each) and there’s a bit of rivalry that’s developed over the years. This is the third time CSK and MI are meeting in the first Qualifier. They’ve met back in 2013 and 2015 and both CSK and MI have won one each. However, on both those occasions, MI went on to lift the title.
This season, MI have been brilliant right from the start and carried their form throughout the season which also had a few hiccups in between. Despite producing good results throughout the season, at no point did they look like they would top the table. But as things turned out, after their last win against KKR, they stormed their way to the top of the table.
On the other hand, CSK were on an absolute roll at the start. However, they stumbled in the second half as they lost four out of their six games. MS Dhoni missed a couple of games due to back spasms and illness and CSK felt his absence.
One advantage for CSK will be that they will be playing at home. But they were beaten by MI at Chepauk this season and the Rohit Sharma-led side is the only team to do so. Also, all eyes will also be on the Chepauk pitch which has garnered quite a bit of attention this season. Spinners enjoy bowling on this surface and it may be the case once again.
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If MI bat first:
Quinton de Kock has been batting really well and is closing in on 500 runs this season. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav got some vital time and runs in the middle in MI’s final league game. The Mumbaikars polished off the run-chases and remained unbeaten. Their form should be a boost for MI as the duo have failed to cash in and make good starts count.
Hardik Pandya has been the glue in the middle order and has performed almost every game. Kieron Pollard has just a couple of decent knocks this season and Krunal Pandya hasn’t really come to the party with the bat.
But MI somehow manage to find a way to put competitive totals on the board. Hence, we could well see a score of 160 or more if MI bat first.
If CSK win:
The CSK top-order is a real concern. While Faf du Plessis has been scoring runs on and off, Shane Watson’s poor returns have affected CSK quite a bit. However, they will be pleased with the form Suresh Raina has shown in the last couple of games. Ambati Rayudu has had a disappointing season and meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury. The all-rounders (Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja) haven’t fired as well with the bat. It’s been all MS Dhoni with the bat for CSK.
Hence, if CSK bat first, they might get a score in excess of 150. CSK desperately need their batting line-up to fire in the big game.
Who will win?
MI have had the better of CSK on both occasions this season. In fact, in their last three encounters, the Rohit Sharma-led side have emerged victorious. Also, they have a great record against CSK at Chepauk. However, CSK have always tended to raise their game in crunch situations. They’ve been in this situation more than anybody else in the history of the competition. Hence, it surely promises to be a close affair and a mouth-watering contest.
It’s tough to pick but with the experience of being in such situations could help CSK just pip MI to reach the final for the second straight year.
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