Big boys kick off big week | PunterPolls Prediction
After 72 league matches - mismatches, in some cases - we're into the final week of the IPL. The most important week. The week Chennai Super Kings have negotiated five times previously, with more success than failure; they're the only team to progress past the league stage in every edition of the IPL so far, losing once in the semis, finishing runners-up twice (including last year), and winning the title in 2010 and 2011. Of the 10 playoff matches they've contested, they've won seven. They will go into the first qualifier knowing just how to win these big games, and with the cushion of having a second chance at making the final should they need it - both huge pluses.
But, in Mumbai Indians, Super Kings face the only IPL line-up that is arguably even stronger than their own. While the two teams match-up on the batting front - both in terms of proven performers and power-hitting - Mumbai hold the clear edge in the bowling department. This season, especially, Mumbai's bowlers have been lethal as a unit (as opposed to Lasith Malinga being the single biggest threat), with Mitchell Johnson swinging it at pace, Harbhajan Singh striking consistently while being economical, and Pragyan Ojha and Dhawal Kulkarni providing reliable support. They've already demolished Super Kings' line-up once this season, rolling them for 79 - the tournament's lowest total - at the Wankhede.
Both teams are coming off losses after seemingly letting their guard down in inconsequential matches, but before being tripped up in Dharamsala Mumbai had five comfortable wins in a row. Super Kings, on the other hand, have an up-and-down record of late after posting an record-equalling seven consecutive IPL victories earlier in the tournament. That has prompted talk of them having peaked too early.
Both teams have injury concerns to key players: Albie Morkel and Sachin Tendulkar. If Morkel is fit, he is likely to slot in as one of three overseas seam-bowling allrounders for Super Kings. If Tendulkar is fit, Mumbai will have to take a tough call - his replacement, Aditya Tare, has made two handy contributions, scoring rapidly as opener for a team that has got off to slow starts more often than not. Ambati Rayudu, who has 196 runs in 16 matches at 17.81, could be the one to miss out.
Two big giants will take on each other in the sixth edition of the IPL. If we have look at the history, CSK is used to playing and performing at the big stages like this. They have been qualified 4 times to the final and have won twice. Whereas, Mumbai Indians do have records to get cracked under pressure especially at the big stage. Now cricket experts have start believing that Mumbai Indians are just like South Africans who used to crashed in the knock-out rounds.
In this tournament, Chennai have won and Mumbai have lost with 9 wickets in their games against Delhi Daredevils in the league matches. But Mumbai Indians does have mentally advantage over CSK as they have won both home and away matches against them. Both teams does have an extra cushion that they still have chance to qualify after loosing today's game. And our expert believe, this extra cushion should work in favor for Mumbai Indians in a way that they will be having less pressure and they can perform better.
Our experts believe that toss is going to play an important role today and team batting first scoring 160+ will have better chances to win this game. However, if team batting first fails to score 160, should be an easy chase for any team as both teams does have good batting line-up.
Rest will meet you during the match.
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IPL 2013: Qualifier 1 - CSK v Mum Indians, 21 May
- Mumbai Indians (51% Votes)
- Chennai Super Kings (49% Votes)