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It’s MI v Mumbai?

Updated on: 14 April,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

While the hosts will look forward to their third win on the bounce, they will have to tackle the city element in Chennai Super Kings’s arsenal like Rahane, Dube, Deshpande and Thakur at Wankhede tonight

It’s MI v Mumbai?

CSK’s Ajinkya Rahane at Wankhede on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble; (right) MI opener Rohit Sharma with CSK pacer Shardul Thakur. Pic/CSK

It's a battle between the two most successful teams in IPL history—hosts Mumbai Indians (MI) v Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium this evening. 
Both giants have five IPL titles to their record and are eying the sixth under new leaders.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya-led MI, who lost their first three games of the season, bounced back strongly to win back-to-back matches on their home ground, while young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s CSK team have secured three wins out of their five games in IPL-17.

Kishan, Rohit in good form

Batters Ishan Kishan (161), Rohit Sharma (156), Tilak Varma (143), Pandya (129) and fit-again Suryakumar Yadav (52) are among the top run-getters for MI, while pacers Jasprit Bumrah (10) and Gerald Coetzee (8) have showcased their wicket-taking and match-winning skills. 

Also Read: IPL 2024, RR vs PBKS: Rajasthan Royals beat Punjab Kings by three wickets

The visiting CSK team who outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets in Chennai on Monday, have some top performers in their ranks—Mumbai-based players—Shivam Dube (176), Ajinkya Rahane (119) and Tushar Deshpande (5 wickets), Shardul Thakur (0-27 off three overs against KKR).

New skipper Gaikwad (155) and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman (9 scalps) have been outstanding. Though former skipper MS Dhoni has scored just 39 runs so far, the big hitter could play a big knock at a venue, where he helped India win the 2011 ODI World Cup final.

When mid-day asked MI’s off-spin bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nabi about the threat Dube will pose for the hosts, the Afghan cricketer remarked that MI are ready for the challenge. “If you stick to your plan it will be easy. And about threat, not every day is the same. Though they [CSK’s Mumbai players] have the experience of playing at Wankhede, we also have that kind of experience here as we are playing on our home ground. So, it’s not a big threat,” said Nabi, who was part of MI’s playing XI in the last two wins.

Guru Bumrah

Nabi, 39, also underlined the fact that his team possess two big players in the form of pacer Bumrah and former skipper Rohit. He remarked: “I always talk with Bumrah as a part of the bowling group and with Rohit as well. These two are the most senior players in the team. They played a lot of cricket for MI as well and also won a lot of games for MI. I think they have more experience and knowledge about Wankhede as well.” 

Meanwhile, when asked about the memories of the Afghanistan versus Australia ODI World Cup game at the same venue, where Hashmatullah Shahidi’s team lost by three wickets, thanks to Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 201 off just 128 balls last November, Nabi didn’t want to go into that particular recall mode.

Obviously, the memories don’t make for good tidings.

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