IPL 2021 finally restarts with a clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, two superpowers in the history of the IPL. It is always been a war between these two sides and their fans. After more than four months of COVID-19 complications, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has welcomed the IPL to host phase 2. Dubai International Stadium will host the clash of the champions today.
Since most of the upcoming T20 World Cup matches will be played in UAE, the fourteenth season of the cash-rich league will act as a major boost for players in terms of getting familiar with the playing conditions.
With five wins out of seven games, the MS Dhoni-led CSK are placed at the second spot in the points table. On the other hand, MI is fourth in the standings after registering four victories in seven matches.
Despite the defeat on May 1, CSK would’ve perhaps felt the halt came at the worst time for them – in the midst of a dramatic resurrection. They don’t have happy memories of the tricky turfs of UAE, but four of their six victories last season came in Dubai. Their proactive batting, however, so far could straightaway be under scrutiny on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings – Possible XI. IPL 2021
Due to a groin injury, Faf du Plessis had to miss out on the last three games of the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021. If he remains unavailable for this game, Robin Uthappa is likely to make his CSK debut.
Moreover, Sam Curran will not be available for this match as he arrived in Dubai on September 15, and he has to follow a six-day mandatory quarantine period. As Curran’s replacement, Dwayne Bravo, who recently led St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots to the CPL title, is likely to come in.
CSK XI: MS Dhoni (c, wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis/Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar.
Mumbai Indians – possible XI. IPL 2021
Kieron Pollard and Quinton de Kock will be available for the game against CSK as they have traveled from one bio-bubble to another and hence do not have to serve the 6-day quarantine.
Rohit Sharma is set to captain the side. There could be a toss-up between Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jayant Yadav for a place in the final XI.
MI XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile/ Jayant Yadav.
What to expect:
Among the three venues in UAE, Dubai was one that showed affinity towards both, fast bowlers (180 wickets, the most) and spinners (94 wickets, the most) in IPL 2020. The venue, with its big dimensions on one side of the wicket, is unlikely to dish out a high-scoring classic like the Arun Jaitley stadium, in the Indian capital, did in May. Yet, batsmen have thrived here, with an average first innings score of 172 last season, while teams have also found more success setting a target – with 16 wins out of 26 games. As for the weather, a clear and warm evening is anticipated in Dubai.
Did You Know:
– MI are the only team to have more wins than losses against CSK in IPL
– Suresh Raina (820 runs) and Dwayne Bravo (28 wickets) are the leading run-getter and wicket-taker against MI in IPL history
– The two teams have had contrasting fortunes at the death with the bat in IPL 2021: CSK has scored at 12.86 (the best) and lost just 10 wickets (the least) while MI has scored at 8.81 (the worst) and lost 26 wickets (the most). However, the switch to UAE is likely to affect this trend.
- MI wins the toss and bowls first
- Powerplay score: 40-55
- CSK Total: 150-165
- CSK wins the toss and bowls first
- Powerplay score: 45-60
- MI Total: 160-175
MI to win the contest.