More than four months after the COVID-19 complications interrupted the first phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, the second half of the fourteenth season is set to resume with the mouthwatering clash between two of the most successful franchises – Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Dubai International Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.
Since most of the upcoming T20 World Cup matches will be played in UAE, the fourteenth season of the cash-rich league will act as a major boost for players in terms of getting familiar with the playing conditions.
With five wins out of seven games, the MS Dhoni-led CSK are placed at the second spot in the points table. On the other hand, MI are fourth in the standings after registering four victories in seven matches.
The track at Dubai supports both pacers and spinners, while batters find it a bit difficult to post huge scores on the board with relatively big boundaries. 16 out of 26 times, the team batting first have won at this venue.
Chennai Super Kings
Due to a groin injury, Faf du Plessis had to miss out on the last three games of the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021. If he remains unavailable for this game, Robin Uthappa is likely to make his CSK debut.
Moreover, Sam Curran will not be available for this match as he arrived in Dubai on September 15, and he has to follow a six-day mandatory quarantine period. As Curran’s replacement, Dwayne Bravo, who recently led St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots to the CPL title, is likely to come in.
CSK XI: MS Dhoni (c, wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis/Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar.
Kieron Pollard and Quinton de Kock will be available for the game against CSK as they have travelled from one bio-bubble to another and hence do not have to serve the 6-day quarantine.
Rohit Sharma is set to captain the side. There could be a toss-up between Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jayant Yadav for a place in the final XI.
MI XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile/ Jayant Yadav.
- MI wins the toss and bowls first
- Powerplay score: 40-55
- CSK Total: 150-165
- CSK wins the toss and bowls first
- Powerplay score: 45-60
- MI Total: 160-175
MI to win the contest.
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