IPL 2013: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – Live IPL Score
Hosts Mumbai Indians, lying fourth on the points table, with 12 points, take on two-time champions and table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (18 points), in a potentially mouth-watering encounter, at the Wankhede Stadium, in the Indian T20 league, on Sunday.
While a 4 pm start, in peak summer, will make it steamy for the players, the contest itself is expected to be spicy, as all matches between these two teams always are.
The corresponding fixture last year (May 6) is a case in point. MI, thanks to the pyrotechnics of Dwayne Smith, chased down CSK’s 173 for 8, off the last ball.
Earlier in the tournament, MI pipped CSK at fortress Chepauk by nine runs. MI have historically held sway over the southern powerhouse at home.
At the Wankhede, on true surfaces, they enjoy a 3-0 record and MS Dhoni, who hasn’t enjoyed his time here, while leading India, especially this season, will hope that fortunes change.
They won’t if Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik, bulwarks of the MI middle-order, hang around. Rohit has been a transformed player since donning the captain’s mantle and with 375 runs from 10 matches (Avg 53.57, SR 150), he is recreating the form that he displayed for Deccan Chargers, in 2009.
Karthik too has been in fine touch (331 runs, Avg 33.10, SR 139.66) and while others have posted bigger scores, one can’t think of better quality knocks than the 86 he carved against Delhi Daredevils.
Too much though has depended on these two and Smith. Sachin Tendulkar, for all his greatness, has been a passenger.
One wonders how long his pride will allow him to continue now that regular skipper Ricky Ponting has already made a statement by sitting out.
With the ball, a lot will rest on the shoulders of Mitchell Johnson. If his swing and pace can dislodge the ageless and in-form Mike Hussey (485 runs @60.62, SR 132.15) early, MI can hope to make it 4-0 at the Big W. Johnson though would need better support from Lasith Malinga, who has looked overweight and off colour.
It’s not all about Hussey with CSK though. Suresh Raina has got his touch back too as his hundred against Kings XI showed.
MS Dhoni is enjoying the challenges of batting higher up and has bullied even good attacks, scoring 300 runs @ 42.85, SR 171.42. Dwayne Bravo’s bowling, especially at the death, has been potent.
CSK have also stolen a march over other franchises in the way they have backed young talent. Players like Mohit Sharma and Chris Morris have been thrown at the deep end and have succeeded.
MI have historically been poor at handling youngsters. Just ask Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Will a young captain, surrounded by wise, old heads, be allowed to change that trend?