Saturday, February 24, 2024 | Sha'ban 13, 1445 H
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Mumbai face massive challenge against Chennai

Mumbai Indians' Tilak Varma plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. -- AFP
Mumbai Indians' Tilak Varma plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. -- AFP


 PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER – Both teams clashed in the 12th match of IPL at Wankhede and Mumbai were totally dominated by Chennai. Put to bat first, Mumbai had an explosive start, but quick wickets slowed the momentum and courtesy of Tim David’s push, Mumbai crawled to 157/8. Chasing a mediocre total, Chennai were always in control and completed the chase with 7 wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare. Rahane’s 27-ball 61 runs was the highlight of the match.

 TEAM INFO – Mumbai were being dominated by most teams, but in the last few games, they have put their foot down and shown authority with return of form for majority of players. Although they are going to face a massive challenge in terms of the big daddy’s Chennai Super Kings, who has been cruising their way to the play-offs. Mumbai are sixth and they need to win consistently to have an opportunity to seize a spot in play-offs.

 Head-to-Head - Played - 35; Won by MI - 20; Won by CSK – 15

 CSK possible 12 – R Gaikwad, D Conway, A Rahane, M Ali, S Dube, R Jadeja, M S Dhoni, D Chahar, M Pathirana, T Deshpande, M Theekshana, A Rayudu

 MI possible 12 – R Sharma, I Kishan, C Green, S Yadav, T David, T Varma, N Wadhera, J Archer, P Chawla, K Kartikeya, A Madhwal, A Khan

 Pitch & Weather Report – The pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium is spin-friendly. The spinners will play a key role while bowling here as the ball tends to grip off the surface. Run-scoring isn’t easy and the batters will have to be on their toes while batting here. Clear skies will greet both sides on Friday, with the temperature in Chennai expected to hover between 28 to 36 degrees Celsius.

 Match Prediction – Mumbai have just found their form back with the bat, although, when you go to Chennai, you have to carry your pack of ace spinners along with you and that’s one area which Mumbai seriously lacks.

On the other side it's Chennai, who are looking to settle in despite having a brilliant bowling attack. Death bowling is a concern for both these sides. I feel that Chennai will blow the whistle at home.


 PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER – Both these teams clashed in the 20th match of IPL 2023. Put into bat first, RCB were cruising at one point of time towards 200, when a sudden collapse saw them crawl to 174/6 in 20 overs. Coming to chase a below par score, Delhi had problems of their own. Reduced to 3 down for just 2 runs, they went into the shell. Every time they looked to accelerate, a wicket would restrict them and despite Manish Pandey’s 50, Delhi lost the game by 23 Runs. RCB pacers stood up to the task, on a batting friendly Chinnaswamy ground.

 TEAM INFO – Delhi are in the last position with just 3 wins, while RCB are in fifth spot. Considering the position in the table, this is a must win for both these teams. Delhi have won 3 of their last 4 encounters, with the last one when they defended 130 against the mighty Gujarat Titans. On the other hand, RCB have won 3 of their last 4 games with the last one being a heated match against Lucknow Super Giants, when they defended 126.

 Head-to-Head - Played - 28; Won by RCB – 17; Won by DC – 10; No Result - 1

 RCB possible 12 – V Kohli, F Du Plessis, A Rawat, G Maxwell, M Lomror, D Karthik, K Jadav, W Hasaranga, K Sharma, M Siraj, J Hazlewood, H Patel

 DC possible 12 – D Warner, P Salt, M Pandey, R Rossouw, S Khan, A Patel, R Patel, A H Khan, K Yadav, A Nortje, I Sharma, K Ahmed

 Pitch & Weather Report – The previous match at this venue witnessed considerable assistance for the slower bowlers. The team winning the toss in Delhi would be inclined to bowl first, given the slow nature of the surface and also with the threat of dew hampering the bowlers in the second innings.

 Match Prediction – Delhi have found a way to crack matches which are in the range of 150, whether it's with them batting first or with them chasing.

With all their batters not in form, they have struggled to play the high intensity and high-octane cricket which is the demand of the audience. RCB’s bowling has been the stand out factor in this year’s IPL so far and the lower middle order is the concern. Can Kedar Jadhav be the solution to it? I feel this one is in the spirit of Royal Challengers Bangalore!

FAN COMMENTS (Directors special)

 “CSK vs MI is a must watch game. A win for either team gives a huge chance towards their qualification for play-offs. Dhoni and team should be able to cash in on the home advantage.” – Shaikh Ahmed, 38, Associate Business Director/United Media Services, Indian.

 “There was a time when CSK-MI used to be an 'El Classico', but with the downfall of MI, it’s now CSK who have become the undefeated kings of IPL and with this year’s trophy we will be the team of the present and future.” – Dr Krithika Mirugasirisham, 39, Director of Sales and Marketing/Hospital Industry, Indian.

 “Cricket is a festival, especially for Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Afghani and Nepali audiences. Franchise cricket has smartly divided the cricketing community and increased the enthusiasm. It is a big learning opportunity for the world of sports and a lot of case studies on this will follow.” – Faiz Muhammad Riaz, 32, Managing Director/Mohammad Riaz & Partners

and National Golf Player of Oman, Omani.

 “The way IPL has progressed over the years is going to be a learning lesson for PSL and with time it's also growing into a big brand. IPL has been the major reason for this massive growth of cricket in India and I am hoping the same for Pakistan as well.” – Mohammed Salman, 61, Executive Director, Pakistani.

Send us your comment for next day’s match before 12 noon on WhatsApp on ‘00968 78795978’ and the best comments will be included in our article. ‘30 words on the team that you support’, full name, designation, age, nationality.

You could post your views and questions on our social media handles and we will pick the best question in our future articles, Twitter — @OmanObserver @PranavMehtaOman OR Instagram — @OmanObserver @pranav_mehta_18. Don’t forget to use the #OOIPL2023 for better reach.

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