Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, CLT20 2011, Chennai

Tough opener for Mumbai's foreigners

The Preview by Nitin Sundar

September 23, 2011

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, September 24
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)


Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh have a chat, Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2011, Mumbai, April 22, 2011
Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds are team-mates once again. This time Harbhajan is captain © AFP
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They call themselves Mumbai Indians. But their 14-man squad has no one from Mumbai, and seven who aren't Indians. Three of those overseas players chose to play for Mumbai, ahead of other sides participating in the Champions League. If you thought that was farcical, consider this - an injury-induced relaxation in the rules allows Mumbai to field five overseas players instead of the four normally afforded to IPL sides, already generous when compared to the other teams. High-intensity earthquake zones present more level playing fields than this.

Even after the relief provided by the organisers, Mumbai look a side in strife. Harbhajan Singh - on the back of his worst season in international cricket - leads an outfit missing three Indian stars, including the biggest of them all. Sachin Tendulkar's absence is a challenge not only for Mumbai, but for the tournament itself. The problem won't be felt too badly at Chepauk though, which should fill up with faithful locals, who lapped up an entire IPL season without witnessing a home defeat.

Chennai Super Kings are among the favourites to win the tournament, and overwhelming favourites for their opening game. Michael Hussey won almost every piece of silverware on offer in Sri Lanka, while MS Dhoni was the Player of the Tournament in the England ODIs, a series in which Suresh Raina shook off his Test blues. R Ashwin and Doug Bollinger are also coming off consistent international performances. Mumbai will have to pull off a big surprise to put it past a bunch that has come into such good form ahead of the tournament.

Watch out for …

What has Andrew Symonds been up to? He had a limited role in the IPL and hasn't played any cricket since. Not that he will turn up rusty - expect him to fly, and let fly from the covers. Expect fireworks when he is at the crease. And read his lips when he sets fields in consultation with his captain Harbhajan.

M Vijay was the Man of the Match in the 2010 Champions League final, and in this year's IPL final. He wasn't able to capitalise on the India opportunities that came his way since, and this tournament gives him the chance to start afresh ahead of the Indian domestic season.

Team news

The Super Kings roped in Nuwan Kulasekara as a replacement for Tim Southee, but he is not a sure pick in the XI. They tend to play three spinners, especially at home, and the two spots for seamers are likely to go to Albie Morkel and Bollinger.

Mumbai are likely to bench Dilhara Fernando and James Franklin, unless there are more injuries in the lead-up, prompting additional tweaks to the rules. The bigger challenge will be filling in the seven local berths. Ambati Rayudu's form could dictate how far Mumbai go in the tournament.

Stats and trivia

  • R Ashwin was the Player of the Tournament of the Champions League 2010
  • The Super Kings and Mumbai have clashed nine times in IPL history, winning CSK leading the head-to-heads 5-4
  • Andrew Symonds has made 2115 runs in 89 Twenty20s at a strike-rate of 148.73 - the highest aggregate in a Mumbai side that is without Rohit Sharma

Quotes

"We have only four overs. We try to take wickets every ball."
Lasith Malinga is not out there to contain

"If New Zealand lose, Scott [Styris] will wear a Springbok jersey and post the picture on Twitter, and vice versa for Albie [Morkel] if the Boks lose."
Faf du Plessis and his team-mates are watching the Rugby World Cup closely

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 22:34 GMT)

@Sekar - What's so surprising that no local player is in the team. There is no rule that one should be there. The local players are playing for other teams. Also the name only reflects that all Indians are in the team. Your suggestion of renaming it to Mumbai Internationals is very silly.

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 24, 2011, 15:17 GMT)

dhoni must be getting lucky hes won a toss. could not in an argument in the uk.dpk

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

CSK will start with a win... Someone said CSK won because of others mistake... I dont think u know much about cricket :P

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 14:21 GMT)

Shame on Mumbai team... disgraced to call themselves as mumbai indians, they have players from AP, TN, Punjab and Assam in playing 11 and not a single player from Maharastra... will still the mumbai supporters celebrate if mumbai wins.... then in that case with all due respect change the name from mumbai indians to mumbai internationals... it suites better. Hard to believe not even a single player to represent the team... gosh u must be kidding....

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

Harbhajan should be dropped from the Indian team, by the selectors. Not only for drop in form -- quite consistently, but also for his miraculous injuries and equally miraculous recoveries... Irrespective of what he may do today... I want to say this even before the match starts.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

Well well look who is captaining Mumbai Indians...Bhajji was "unfit" to play for India owing to a first of a kind stomach muscle injury but is supposedly fit and rearing to go for MI. This is becoming such a farce. Hope Dhoni's team takes him for 60 in 4 overs.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

CSK - Certainly Sure-to-win Khiladies....Dhoni Zindabad...

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

This time Mumbai will win the match

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

mumbai indians could have contacted me..was free for the tournament....free means no payment lots of time.....

Posted by aerated on (September 24, 2011, 13:49 GMT)

Mumbai is going to win for sure.Lasith Malinga is their trump card.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Nitin SundarClose
Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.
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