Mumbai Indians (MI) will lock horns against familiar foes Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Match 27 of the IPL 2021 season at the Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in Delhi on Saturday. The two teams have treated fans to a number of enthralling encounters over the years and will hopefully deliver another IPL classic tonight.
With eight IPL titles between them, both MI and CSK understandably have one of the biggest rivalries. With a number of superstars on both sides, it won't be a surprise if the match goes down to the wire.
MI put up a dominant batting performance against RR in their previous game and the seven-wicket win will give the defending champions some much-needed confidence. Table-toppers CSK continued their winning streak with a win over SRH and will fancy their chances of toppling the five-time champions.
MI vs CSK: 3 Bowlers to watch out for
The boundaries in Delhi aren't particularly large. Traditionally good for spinners, the pitch has looked more batsman-friendly this season, as a bit of grass on the surface holds it together for batsmen to play their shots.
This makes the role of wicket-taking bowlers even more important as they can stem the run-flow. Each run matters when giants like MI and CSK face-off against and on this note, let's look at three bowlers who may lead their team to victory:
#3 Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah looked to be back to his best in the previous game against RR. The speedster picked up a wicket and gave away just 15 runs, proving how valuable he is to MI, especially at the death. His incredible bowling ensured RR scored 15-20 runs less than what they would have liked to.
Although the 27-year-old has just five wickets from six games so far, he is having his best IPL season in terms of his economy-rate, going at just 5.91 runs per over. Big players rise in big matches and Bumrah will certainly be keen to make his mark against the league leaders.
Bumrah has picked 8 wickets against CSK in 10 games at a decent economy-rate of 7.37. If he finds his rhythm and gets any kind of assistance from the conditions, the pacer will be more than handy for MI. Bumrah has the capability to run through the CSK batting line-up and the table-toppers might be wary of that.
#2 Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar has had a mixed bag as far as the IPL 2021 season is concerned. The fast bowler has picked up 8 wickets in six games, but went wicketless in four of them. His two four-wicket hauls have been the highlight of his season so far.
In the game against SRH in Delhi, Deepak Chahar found a bit of swing and seam movement and that troubled Jonny Bairstow. It is likely that the 28-year-old will get some help under the lights and that could be tricky to handle for the MI top order.
Deepak Chahar has already shown on two occasions this season that he is capable of running through the opposition batting line-up within the powerplay itself. He also has a decent record against MI, having picked up 9 wickets from as many games.
If Chahar finds his mojo, he might once again end up giving CSK early breakthroughs. With a supposedly mighty MI batting line-up underperforming this season, Deepak Chahar will back himself to come good.
#1 Rahul Chahar
While CSK have Deepak Chahar, his brother Rahul Chahar will be MI's biggest weapon with the ball in this encounter. The young leg-spinner is having his best IPL season so far with 11 wickets to his name from six games and also boasts an economy rate of just 7.08 runs per over.
One of Rahul's biggest qualities is that he isn't afraid to flight the ball even after being hit for a six. This wicket-taking mentality has taken his bowling to the next level and he has been skipper Rohit Sharma's go-to man in the middle-overs.
With a number of left-handers in the CSK batting line-up, the leggie's skills will definitely be tested. However, he has thrived on challenges and will once again back himself to provide crucial breakthroughs for MI.
Rahul has a great record against CSK, with 6 wickets in as many games, at a terrific economy rate of just 5.36. He is fully capable of delivering a match-winning performance against the table-toppers.