IPL 2019 Qualifier 1, MI vs CSK: Mumbai eye ticket to final at happy hunting ground

first_imgThe knockout stages of Indian Premier League 2019 begins with a blockbuster clash. It’s one of the most intense rivalries in the nascent history of the T20 league. Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians or as Rohit Sharma puts it, the “El Clasico” of IPL.Interestingly, one of the two three-time champions will inch closer to their fourth title after Tuesday’s encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Nonetheless, the luxury of having finished inside the top two spots gives the losing side an extra shot at reaching the final.When it comes to previews of any sport, tagging favourites is the ideal way to set a narrative. However, for Tuesday’s clash, it is safe to say, there isn’t any.Chennai Super Kings have been a formidable side at home over the years. Apart from MS Dhoni’s midas touch and a consistent core group, CSK’s ability to make best use of the conditions at home has been one of the major reasons for their success in the IPL over the years.Super Coach @SPFleming7 on how it’s not a league anymore, but one-off games and about the preparation in place for the Pride! #WhistlePodu #Yellove pic.twitter.com/U4I1bevqhFChennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 6, 2019CHEPAUK CSK FORTRESS BUT NOT DURING MI INVASIONSIn the last 23 matches at home, CSK have won 19! Chepauk has certainly been a fortress for the Men in Yellow.However, 3 of their last 4 defeats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have come against Mumbai Indians. In fact, Chennai haven’t beaten Mumbai Indians at home since 2010.advertisementMumbai Indians are the only team to have a positive head-to-head record against Chennai Super Kings in the history of IPL – 15:11. Moreover, MI’s record at Chepauk is sure to help raise a few eyebrows. In 6 IPL matches, MI have beaten CSK 4 times!Set the whistle clocks to 7:30 PM!Follow the matchday routine and cheer all the #Yellove you’ve got! Matchday it is! #WhistlePodu #MIvCSK pic.twitter.com/mJYrJuggF1Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 7, 2019When Mumbai Indians last played at Chepauk less than two weeks ago, Chennai Super Kings were handed a 46-run thrashing in the absence of their skipper MS Dhoni, who was rested due to a back injury.Mumbai beat Chennai in their own game on the sluggish Chepauk pitch. Rohit Sharma hit his first fifty of IPL 2019, a well-paced 67 from just 48 balls to help MI post 155. The par total proved too much in the end for CSK as the visiting spinners put the brakes on CSK’s scoring rate and let their pacers enjoy the benefits. CSK were bundled out for 109.MI have headed to Chepauk with a lot of confidence. They have completed a double over CSK in IPL 2019 and will be hoping to make it 3-in-3 and secure a final berth. In fact, MI have beaten CSK in 6 of their last 7 meetings.MI thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders in their final league game to seal the top spot in the eight-team points table. On the other hand, CSK were handed a 6-wicket thrashing in Mohali against Kings XI Punjab but managed to hold on to their 2nd spot and make the Qualifier 1.Here’s to more badges of honour before the season ends #OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvKKR @ImRo45 pic.twitter.com/z7YAPRitkRMumbai Indians (@mipaltan) May 6, 2019Odds are in favour of Mumbai Indians but that doesn’t make them favourites. There’s no better team when it comes to stepping up at the biggest moments in IPL than Chennai Super Kings.MS Dhoni’s men don’t rely a lot on numbers unlike their Tuesday’s opponents, who are known for their homework. As Dwayne Bravo revealed, CSK hardly do have meetings. In fact, their captain, Dhoni flew from Mohali to Ranchi and made use of the one-day break ahead of the high-profile match to cast his vote for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Kedar Jadhav getting ruled out of the remainder of IPL 2019 is a cause for concern as CSK don’t have enough established backup options at the middle-order spot. On the other hand, MI are likely to replace pacer Mitchell Mcclenaghan to bring in an extra spinner.There will be an army of yellow at the MA Chidambaram stadium stands cheering for the defending champions. However, even their most ardent fans will know it’s not going to follow a familiar script. What more can one ask for? It’s time to fasten our seat belts.advertisementAlso Read | Ashwin’s Mankading to Dhoni’s rage: Controversies that headlined IPL 2019Also Read | IPL 2019: Warner, Rabada and Russell chart-toppers after league stageAlso Read | My daughter was sleeping when I hit my fifty: Rohit SharmaAlso Read | Unpredictability while bowling against KKR did the trick for MI: Mahela Jayawardenelast_img read more