IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings match preview

IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings match preview

In what would be a perfect start to the Indian cricketing season, Mumbai Indians (MI) take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2020 season opener. It is arguably the biggest rivalry of the IPL, and its genesis can be traced right back to the first IPL auction, with both the franchises going hard to rope in the services of MS Dhoni.

This shall also be the Dhoni’s return to the cricketing field after India’s semi-final exit from the Cricket World Cup 2019.

In head to head encounters, MI are placed comfortably ahead with 18 wins and 12 losses against the MS Dhoni-led side.  However, the equation changes to a balanced 5 wins and 5 losses on neutral venues.

One fact that would always be on the back of Rohit Sharma’s mind would be that ever since he has taken over as the skipper, Mumbai has never won their first match of the season.

Walking into the first match of the season, both the teams have their share of worries. With MI missing the services of Lasith Malinga and CSK missing Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh from the squad, the team would have had to rethink their line-ups. While the former have Trent Boult who works as a direct replacement, CSK would have to make quite some changes to overcome Suresh Raina’s absence. Suresh Raina has been a vital cog in the CSK setup and has managed to score over 350 runs in every season of the IPL.

Raina’s absence would force them to fill 2 of the overseas slots with Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis, making it difficult for them to accommodate either of Sam Curran or Lungi Ngidi. Dwyane Bravo and the 2019 purple cap winner Imran Tahir would fill up the remaining two slots.

With the two heavyweights facing each other, it remains to be seen what effect the lack of match practice and the absence of crowds would have on the players.

Likely XI

MI: Rohit Sharma(c), Quinton de Kock(wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

CSK: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C, Wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

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