Image Credits: FISTO STAFF
The opening affair in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League contains the ingredients of an intense contest as old rivals Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings square up at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The countdown to IPL 13 has already begun. We are just a few hours away from witnessing the first match of IPL 2020 unfolding before our eyes. Tonight, IPL will kickstart in style – as the defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on their arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Earlier this year, IPL – 2020 was postponed indefinitely owing to lockdowns and coronavirus pandemic. However, after a lot of deliberations, the IPL governing council had decided to shift the venue of the entire tournament from India to UAE due to coronavirus scare. However, lots of restrictions will be in place for the safety of cricketers throughout the tournament.
First of all, there will be no spectators at the stands. Secondly, bowlers are barred from using saliva to shine the ball and, finally, captains won’t shake hands after the toss.
Head To Head
MI and CSK have faced each other 30 times in T20 clashes. MI won 18, while CSK won 12 of them.
In their last 5 outings, MI successfully beat CSK at all 5 clashes including MI’s 4 successive victories against the men-in-yellow last year.
For CSK, the good news is, they have a 1-0 win record against MI at UAE.
Dhoni-led CSK want to break MI’s unassailable 5-0 winning streak against them in IPL 13 opener this year.
CSK can beat Mumbai Indians in match1 If…
Shyam GK from Loyola - ICAM College of Engineering and Technology (LICET)
CSK want to start on a winning note, and salvage their lost pride when they suffered a nail-biting 1-run defeat against the Mumbai Indians at IPL 12 grand finale.
Talking to Fistosports, Shyam GK from Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology (LICET), an ardent CSK supporter and emerging cricketer, opined in his own words that there are three ways through which CSK can easily outwit the mighty Mumbai Indians;
CSK in last year’s IPL, had an average of 6.44 run rate and lost as many as 30 wickets in the period during the opening power play, if they could better it and have a good start at their first match, it will be crucial for their victory.
In the last two seasons, CSK spinners picked up the most number wickets (90) at a better average (22.90) and a strike rate (18.9) than any other side, so spinners will once again play a crucial role for the side.
CSK have enough experience in their bank to overcome any premier league side on their day, so if the big guns are hot 'n' rolling, we can expect a wonderful game.
If CSK were to bat first tomorrow;
They must score at least 170 runs to defend against MI's strong batting line up and if CSK were to bowl first, then restricting MI to a score of 140-150 is ideal in order to have a better chance of winning the match.
If CSK can get early wickets – it would be very crucial in restricting MI to a low target. Similarly, if CSK get a good start while batting first, then my bets are on CSK.
Shyam GK Prediction: CSK will win against MI
Battle between the Equals
Monish Raj of SSN College, Chennai.
Both CSK and MI are evenly balanced with experienced players on both sides. However, MI will hugely miss Lasith Malinga, whose Yorker-length deliveries at death overs helped them claim a lot of stunning victories.
MI will have an edge in the IPL 13 opener considering their outstanding form of IPL-12, but at the end of the day, it could be anybody’s game.
We asked the same question to a young cricketer, Monish Raj of SSN College, Chennai, he remarked as follows;
The first game of the IPL between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will be an even contest given Mumbai Indians' record in the UAE and CSK being hit by withdrawal of key players and a few affected by the deadly virus.
Mumbai Indians have a few well-renowned big hitters in their batting line-up. If they put up a good score on the board batting first, and get some CSK’s early wickets then they are really into the match. CSK’s middle order will hugely miss veteran Suresh Raina’s presence. They will be without Suresh Raina for the first time in the history of the IPL.
With some of the finest fielders in their ranks, if Rohit Sharma's men can take their chances then Mumbai Indians will definitely prevail over Chennai Super Kings in this hot clash.
CSK’s top-order needs to rise to the occasion and post a big total on the board. With Shane Watson, Dhoni, and Rayudu at the top three, and with Bravo and Jadeja to follow, a big score is all that team wants to secure while batting first.
In bowling, Imran Tahir’s unexplainable leg breaks (UAE pitches likely to help him a lot), Bravo and Jadeja’s cunning bowling spells at powerplay can really turn the match in their favor anytime. Nevertheless, CSK will certainly miss Harbhajan Singh’s presence!
Monish Raj’s Prediction: MI will win against CSK
Interesting statistics for CSK Vs MI Match
Mumbai Indians (MI)
If Rohit Sharma (4898 runs) scores 102 more runs, then he will become only the third cricketer to score 5000 IPL runs after Virat Kohli (5412) and Suresh Raina (5368).
MI’s Suryakumar Yadav (983 runs) is 17 runs shy of completing his 1000 IPL runs. Hopefully, he should get that, and will become only the sixth batsman to achieve this feat.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
If MS Dhoni (4432 runs) scores 68 or more runs at the first match, then he will complete his 4500 IPL runs.
Ravindra Jadeja (1927 runs) can score 2000th IPL run tomorrow if he gets past 73. Eventually, he will become the first cricketer with 2000 runs and 100+ (108) wickets in IPL history.
Shane Watson (953 runs) can also register his 1000 IPL runs for CSK if he scores 47 tonight against MI.
Players to look out for
MS Dhoni (CSK)
Dhoni has announced his retirement just a few days back, and fans must be expecting a big knock from him at the very first match. It’s quite evident that fans won’t see him at international matches again, so expectations will be quite high this time once he goes out to bat in the yellow jersey.
Dhoni, too, would want to make the tournament memorable from the very start, especially after last year’s heartbreaker at the IPL 12 finale in Hyderabad when CSK couldn’t lift the trophy for just 1 run. Dhoni also has a golden chance to complete his 5000 IPL runs tonight.
Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)
Ravindra Jadeja has been one of the most brilliant performers for CSK over the years. His slow-left-arm bowling and batting prowess needs no introduction. In the absence of veteran Harbhajan Singh, he has to spearhead CSK’s spin department along with Imran Tahir. His own 4-over spell will be crucial to CSK’s bowling. Jadeja can hit big shots at ease and also convert singles to doubles as per the situation of the match.
Rohit Sharma (MI)
Rohit Sharma, with 700 runs against CSK, is the highest scorer for his team. He is likely to dominate from the very start when he goes out to bat. Though CSK will try everything possible to get his wicket early but Rohit’s cool composure on the field even during high-pressure moments can be an asset for the side. Rohit Sharma is well-experienced in accelerating the scorecard and keep rotating the strike at slow pitches like Abu Dhabi.
Hardik Pandya (MI)
MI’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is all set to start afresh in Abu Dhabi. He has just recovered from a nasty back injury and is well-poised to play a memorable role for his team this season.
Hardik has recently attained fatherhood, and in all probabilities, he will try to make this IPL season more joyous than ever. Hardik’s performance at DY Patil T20 was fantastic with two centuries under his belt. He seems to be in sublime touch and recently stated that he was quite excited for IPL 13.
Mumbai Indians (Predicted Playing XI)
Rohit Sharma, Quinton De Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Chennai SuperKings (Predicted Playing XI)
Shane Watson, Faf Du Plesssis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Kedhar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, & Shardhul Thakur.
Pitch Assist: Pace Bowling.
Fantasy Captain/Vice Captain Option: Hardik Pandya: Smasher and can finish the match really well with Bat and can bowl 4 overs. Good pick for Captain/Vice captain.
Grand league Captain options: R Jadeja / Krunal: Both team has more numbers of right hand batsman so these 2 could be a trump card and take wickets.
Match Predictions: Mumbai Indians (MI) Will Win
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