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Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings appear for DY exam!

Updated on: 21 April,2022 08:38 AM IST  |  Navi Mumbai
SS Ramaswamy |

Pacer Unadkat insists Mumbai Indians are keen to open account in IPL’s El Clasico tonight; Chennai in need of win too

Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings appear for DY exam!

MI players being led out by Rohit Sharma (2nd from left); Jaydev Unadkat (encircled). Pic/BCCI; IPL

In the blue corner will be five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, winless thus far in the 15th edition of the T20 league. In the yellow corner will stand four-time titlists and defending champions Chennai Super Kings, also struggling in IPL-15 with one victory from six games.

When these two teams have met in the past, sparks always flew.

Things will be no different when they meet each other at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday in what MI team member Jaydev Unadkat termed on Wednesday as “El Clasico” of the IPL.

Neither team can afford to lose this contest, especially MI, as another defeat would shatter their wafer-thin hopes of making it to the four-team playoffs.

“Every one of us knows these are the two most successful franchises in the IPL. The kind of legacy that they have now in this tournament is what has made this tournament special,” said Unadkat on the eve of the match.

“They have both contributed towards making IPL what IPL is. I haven’t been a part of it [till now], but from the outside perspective as well it’s probably the El Clasico of the IPL. To be a part of that clash would be something to look forward to,” the left-arm pacer explained.

‘It will be a good contest’

“And because both teams have struggled in the tournament so far, I think both teams are going to come hard. And from our side, I’m going to say for sure, we’re going to come hard and it’s going to be a good contest. So really looking forward to it,” added the Saurashtra player who has grabbed three wickets this season. Unadkat said his team was looking at the challenge lying just ahead and not focusing on the distant future. 

“At the moment, there’s no point of looking at the bigger picture to be honest. The stage that we are in, we are just looking to put some things right, the missing pieces right, first,” Unadkat said.

“[We are looking to] just to get off the mark. Once we do that, the other things follow. So for now, rather than looking at the bigger picture and looking at ‘we have to win eight out of eight’ or something like that, it’s about winning that first game,” he added.

Onus on Rohit to fire

One of MI’s main problems is that their captain and opener Rohit Sharma has not fired as only he can, indicated by his tally of 114 runs at an average of 19 per knock.

Ishan Kishan, the costliest buy at the mega players’ auction at Rs 15.25 crore, has tapered off after blazing his way to 81 not out against Delhi Capitals in their lung-opener. Big West Indian Kieron Pollard has not recaptured his form of old which saw him bludgeoning opposition bowling and closing out games which looked beyond the team’s reaches.

The newcomers like Tilak Verma and David Brevis have shone briefly and it has been left to Suryakumar Yadav to come to the fore and hold the batting after missing the first two games.

In bowling too, Jasprit Bumrah has been economical but not penetrative enough while Tymal Mills and Basil Thampi have leaked runs aplenty. Leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin has been their highest wicket-taker with six victims to his credit.

CSK too have been stuttering along with the lone victory at this venue on April 12 over Royal Challengers Bangalore looking more like a flash in the pan. That win over RCB came on the strength of the blistering knocks by Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube before CSK slumped to their fifth defeat against Gujarat on April 17.

CSK’s bowlers too have not risen to the occasion as much as they would have expected.

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