Most of the 14 seasons before 2022, the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians shaped the rich story of the IPL, took 9 titles together and raised the roof when their paths crossed. Contrasting ideologies – instinct versus data – and mini-battles kept broadcasters excited and fans euphoric, as the buzz around the CSK-v-MI competition was almost always unrivaled.
But in 2022, the status of the IPL declined. They are unconnected in their efforts, uninspired by either the stick or the ball, so they are at the wrong end of the table with 10 teams. The stakes are for MI who is already out of the playoffs, while CSK is sticking to fragile math threads to stay alive.
But even in a season in which two powerful people were a caricature of their dominant personality, they produced the final thriller. Admittedly, he lacked the blade of high stakes they had previously challenged and the result was an evening full of mistakes, buzzing and anticipation were unmistakable. Three weeks from that night, on Thursday, when the context is weaker and the roles are barely one-sided, don’t expect anything different.
When: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, May 11, 2022, 7:30 PM IST
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
What to expect: A bold call to throw? Only three times in 15 games at Wankhede Stadium this season has the captain decided to hit first with a bat. Two of them ended in victories, and one arrived just three days ago when RCB beat SRH by 67 rounds. Other places have offered more credit for changing the throwing strategy and setting the target, but there is now room for that on Wankhede as well, as evidenced by the level of control the RCB had against the SRH.
Head to head: MI 19 – 14 CSK. Dhoni took back time earlier this season to add to the growing list of CSK-v-MI thrillers with the final robbery.
Watching the team:
Chennai Super Kings
Not available: Ravindra Jadeja. He was excluded from the rest of the season due to a rib injury.
Tactics and matches: Rohit Sharma’s early caution against tempo with his left hand affected CSK earlier this season as Mukesh Choudhary fired him in the first over. If Rohit struggles with that, CSK could bring another auspicious match to tame the MI captain. That would mean an early PowerPlay with the ball for Dwayne Bravo, who knocked out Rohit in the IPL five times before.
Probably XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Robin Uthappa, Shivam Dube, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Maheesh Theekshana, Simarjeet Singh, Mukesh Choudhary
Tactics and matches: Jasprit Bumrah, fresh from the threatening spell 5 to 10, should be battling CSK’s best hitter of the season – Shiva Dube. The free-spirited six has already scored 16 sixes this season – making them the third-best overall score – but has previously shown sensitivity to Bumrah’s accuracy, falling twice and scoring just 10 runs in 17 against the Pacer.
Probably XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Tilak Varma, Ramandeep Singh / Anmolpreet Singh, Tim David, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Sams, Murugan Ashwin, Kumar Karthikeya, Jasprit Bumrah, Riley Meredith
Did you know:
– MS Dhoni scored 710 runs with a hit rate of 130.8 against MI in the tournament
– Rohit Sharma has almost identical figures compared to CSK – 752 operates with a strike rate of 125.3, including seven half-centuries
what they said:
What worked well for me was that in the beginning, when I started the tournament, I didn’t think too much, I just went and hit, like I used to. My focus was on a good start to the team. But I think later, I was trying to finish the game somewhere … I may have lost focus in the first six overtimes.I also talked to the coach and captain and they just said, ‘If you can give us a good start, it will be helpful for the team so you don’t have to think about ending the game If you are placed there in the middle, you will do it anyway. ‘”-Ishan Kishan
“I’m not a big fan of math. I wasn’t even good at it at school. Thinking about NRR doesn’t help. You just want to enjoy the IPL. When two other teams play, you don’t want to be under pressure and think. You just have to thinking about what to do in the next game. If we make the playoffs, great. But even if we fail, it’s not the end of the world. ” – MS Dhoni