Indian Premier League returns to Brabourne Stadium after three seasons and will host a high-profile clash of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Both teams finished third and fourth on the points table after league phase. It was a smooth journey for Chennai Super Kings, having won nine matches they did not had to toil hard for qualification while for MI it was an uphill task and they managed to beat Rajasthan Royals miraculously to move to top four.Nothing went Mumbai Indians way in UAE leg of IPL and it was only that homecoming gave them the much needed impetus to stage a comeback and win matches on trot. Openers Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey are performing, middle order looks strong and team is now a confident unit. One thing Mumbai Indians will miss most at this stage is Lasith Malinga. Youngster Jasprit Bumrah has done well in his absence to lead the bowling attack but still Bumrah and other bowlers have been leaking lot of runs.Malinga’s presence would have helped Mumbai Indians cause and strengthen the bowling which looks weak now. Pitch at Brabourne Stadium has been traditionally a hotbed for spinners. With Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Shreyas Gopal in MI’s line-up they will hope that wicket assists them and that can make their bowling look like a threatening one which otherwise is placid.
Chennai Super King’s opening pair has had major contribution, be it Dwayne Smith-Brendon McCullum or Dwayne Smith-FAF du Plessis lately, both the combinations have fitted in Chennai Super King’s scheme of things. Brendon McCullum is expected to be back after he flew home and may partner Smith as an opener. MS Dhoni has been carrying on the good work of openers and finishing games while Suresh Raina has struggled this season.On bowling front Chennai Super Kings side may look more balanced but they have their own problems. Ashish Nehra did well in his last game and that now requires a serious thinking whether he should play or Ishwar Pandey who lately had been expensive. Ravi Ashwin is more of bowler who can contain batsmen rather than pick wickets while his team would want him to be a wicket-taking bowler. Ravindra Jadeja has been picking wickets and at Brabourne he can be more lethal. CSK might be tempted to bring Samuel Badree as well in their ranks for this clash.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will have another tough time facing the two time champion Chennai Super Kings in a clash where looser gets eliminated. Can Mumbai Indians script another thumping win? Can Mumbai Indians’ fairytale continue or will it be Chennai Super Kings who will walk away with honors.