Preview & Prediction: Match 1 (MI vs CSK)

Preview & Prediction: Match 1 (MI vs CSK)
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Preview & Prediction: Match 1 (MI vs CSK)

El-Classico of IPL to start the proceedings is a fitting reward for the action-deprived fans. The pandemic has been tough on all of us and it would be interesting to see how it has impacted the rhythm of the players. Let's dive into this cracker of an opener.

Pitch Report 
Pitch is ideally expected to be somewhere between Chepauk & Kotla. Sluggish and spin-friendly. Although, it shouldn't be a rank turner given the format. CSK should feel at home.

Probable XI
MI: Rohit, de Kock, Suryakumar, Kishan, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Rahul Chahar, Boult, McClenaghan, Bumrah

CSK: Watson, du Plessis, Rayudu, Jadhav, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Chawla, Thakur, Tahir

Head to Head
Head to Head across seasons, MI has had much better performance than the men in yellow. Last season MI beat CSK in all 4 fixtures and were crowned champions.

Year-wise, MI's won more than 60% of the games in 5 out 7 seasons.

MI has been very poor in the opening games while CSK has the best numbers.

Players Match Up (last 2 years)

1. de Kock averages just 14 from 4 innings vs CSK in the last 2 seasons.

2. Deepak Chahar has dismissed Rohit & de Kock twice. 
Avg/SR vs D Chahar
Rohit: 14/122
de Kock: 20/141

3. Hardik & Suryakumar strike over 150 vs Bravo. Hardik has never been dismissed & Suryakumar averages 42

4. Hardik, Surya & Dhoni have been comfortable against spin in last 2 seasons. Although, Dhoni's SR is something MI would try and exploit.


Fantasy Team

-Suryakumar (Captain)
His batting position, recent form, and Head to Head records make him the primary choice. He has most runs in CSK-MI clashes in the last 2 seasons.

-Rayudu (VC)
Taking on the role of no. 3, Rayudu is expected to play anchor for CSK this season unless Ruturaj shows supreme touch. He should be the one getting CSK through the middle overs. 

A healthy record vs Super kings and fantabulous form makes him a certain pick even at 10.5 Cr in DreamXI. Too dangerous to be left out.

-Watson (VC)
Powerplays are gonna be extremely crucial on sticky wickets like these. This is the phase where T20 will actually happen. Once the ball is old and starts to grip, it might well become a game of 1s and 2s. A stroke maker like Watson can accumulate runs quickly at the beginning which might amount to a lot towards the end. Another good prospect for VC. Rayudu would still be the first preference.

MI will definitely send in Hardik to face a few balls thanks to his Russellesque form. Boundaries will accumulate points faster. 

Took a 4-fer on a similar pitch in the CPL final a week back. Even if he doesn't click in batting, there is a good chance he will do well on this pitch with his cutters.

-R Chahar, Tahir, Chawla
Sensational leg spinners a definite pick on this track. Majority of right-handers in this clash to feast upon.

-Dhoni, Kishan

Both are crucial to their teams even though both play at different positions more often than not.
Kishan at 8.5 Cr is a great deal and Dhoni after guys retirement is too important to be missed.

Fun Stats

-MI wins 80% of the games when Pollard hits 30+

-CSK wins 78% of games when Watson scores 50+


All three big guns have gotten runs in old rivalry. Raina has been the top run-getter in head to head clashes with 704 runs with Rohit & Dhoni behind him. Only the players with 500+ runs.

In bowling, only bowlers with 25+ wickets:-
Malinga: 31
Bravo: 30
Harbhajan: 28

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