After a postponement of over 5 months, Dream 11 IPL 2020 is right around the corner. In Game 1 at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, It is CSK v MI and here is the match preview, possible XIs, players to watchout for and weather reports and pitch report for the same.
• The CSK – MI rivalry:
Historically, MI has had an upper hand over the southern side with 18 wins in 30 meetings. But whenever the sides have collided on neutral venues, the odds have been equal. Both the team have 5 wins each in 10 games on neutral venues.
Last time they came head to head in the United Arab Emirates was in 2014, Dubai. Chennai Super Kings chased down Mumbai’s 141 runs with one over and 7 wickets spare. (Scorecard here)
• CSK v MI Preview – Team News:
1) Chennai Super Kings:
With the unavailability of Suresh Raina who has scored over 800 runs against the arch rivals, it will be interesting to see who is able to do his job. Big boots to fill but a great opportunity as well.
Also, Harbhajan Singh who has played for both of these franchise has pulled out of the season and replacement has not been named. He also was team’s lone off spinner. So yes, definitely a big loss.
Adding to that, also Ruturaj Gaikwad who might have been a replacement if Suresh Raina is unavailable for the first game as well.
2) Mumbai Indians:
From a side with a few problems to what we can call one of the most settled unit of this season, Mumbai Indians.
The team looks completely fine with just a problem of not having a tried and tested spinner, MI has a really strong core .
One big blow to them is absence of Lasith Malinga who has been their man of big moments. The highest wicket taker in IPL has also pulled out of the season due to personal reasons and has been replaced by James Pattinson.
After getting likes of Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile to the pace attack, MI would be looking forward to winning their first game on UAE soil and kick start the season on a positive note.
• CSK v MI Preview – Possible XIs:
1) Chennai Super Kings-
1. Shane Watson (✈️), 2. Ambati Rayudu, 3. Faf du Plessis (✈️), 4. MS Dhoni (c; wk), 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. Dwayne Bravo (✈️), 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Shardul Thakur, 9. Piyush Chawla, 10. Deepak Chahar, 11. Imran Tahir(✈️).
2) Mumbai Indians-
1. Rohit Sharma (c), 2. Quinton de Kock (✈️)(wk), 3. Suryakumar Yadav, 4. Ishan Kishan, 5. Kieron Pollard (✈️), 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Rahul Chahar, 9. Mitchell McClenaghan/Nathan Coulter-Nile (✈️), 10. Trent Boult (✈️), 11. Jasprit Bumrah.
• Players to watch out for:
1. Suryakumar Yadav: Averaging over 38 against CSK with 258 runs to his name, it will be interesting to see how he takes up the responsibility of playing Imran Tahir and Piyush Chawla duo in the middle overs.
Fans have high expectations from him after he had two good seasons batting in the top order.
2. Rahul Chahar: Playing in the United Arab Emirates in a team with not many spin bowling options, Chahar will have to take up the challenge and have a headstart to the league by performing against the arch-rivals.
3. Deepak Chahar: After two very good and consistent seasons with CSK, the medium pacer will be leading their pace attack with high expectations of stopping the dangerous duo of Rohit and de Kock up-front and Pollard and Pandya brothers in the death.
4. Imran Tahir: Joining in the team after a successful Carribbean Premier League where he finished the season with 15 wickets in 11 games at an average of 15.93, the experienced campaigner will have a great responsibility of stopping MI’s middle order from going big in the middle overs. He will also be CSK’s one of the most important overseas player.
• Pitch report and Weather Forecast:
How does the weather and the surface look like in our CSK v MI preview, now that we are outside India?
Pitches in UAE, traditionally have been on a slower side ultimately assisting the spinners. Abu Dhabi pitch has also been good for some medium pace along with the spin.
With an average run rate of 7.00, the team batting first will have an edge if they get anywhere near 155-160.
Highest recorded run-chase in a T20 game at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi came back in 2015 when Hong Kong chased down Afghanistan’s 162. (Scorecard here)
With game starting at 18.00 (Local Time) and a clear sky, it will get very humid as game goes deep.
With a really well settled lineup on paper, Blue Brigade definitely has an edge over the Yellow Army. But with experience to their side along with Dhoni – Fleming duo, you never know what Chennai has in their bag.
So looking at the team combinations and conditions, looks like MI has an edge over CSK. So it’s 55-45 or 60-40 MI – CSK .
We hope you enjoyed our CSK v MI preview.
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images