Chennai v Mumbai, eliminator, IPL 2012, Bangalore May 22, 2012

Mumbai face dangerous Chennai in knockout clash


Match facts

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Such is the knockout format of the IPL that a side that won eight and lost seven games during the league stage now has a chance to win the tournament. When as many as four out of nine teams - eight during the first three seasons - make the playoffs, such things are bound to happen. Chennai Super Kings, the defending champions, happen to be that side this season.

It is not Super Kings' problem that the format is such. While they have had to depend on three other teams messing up their qualification chances this season, the fact is that those three sides did mess up. And Super Kings would still not have qualified had they not won a few games from seemingly hopeless positions. Against Rajasthan Royals, they needed 43 from 22 deliveries. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they needed 43 from 12.

Mumbai Indians, the Champions League Twenty20 2011 winners, may have won ten games, but as always, haven't quite dominated as much as a side with so much quality should have. They have had their share of come-from-behind wins as well, including chasing 172 after being 51 for 5 against Royal Challengers.

Mumbai Indians have scored their runs at 7.43 an over; Super Kings at 7.60. Mumbai Indians have gone for 7.54 an over; Super Kings for 7.58. There is not much to choose between the two on these parameters. On a Bangalore pitch, which has been the best this season for batting, with a scoring-rate rate of 8.31 an over, Mumbai Indians' powerful line-up gives them a slight edge, as does their tendency to contain by taking wickets rather than choking the opposition batsmen.

These sides played the 2010 IPL final, which Super Kings won by 22 runs after Mumbai Indians adopted some strange tactics, sending Abhishek Nayar and Harbhajan Singh ahead of Ambati Rayudu, JP Duminy and Kieron Pollard. Whatever their form going into the playoffs, no side plays the crunch games better than Super Kings.

Form guide

Chennai Super Kings: LWWWL (most recent first)
Mumbai Indians: WLWWL

Players to watch

Suresh Raina, the highest run-getter in the IPL, has made 341 runs this season, but they have come at a strike-rate of 126.76, as against a Twenty20 career strike-rate close to 140. The sight of him heaving sixes over midwicket in the yellow Super Kings uniform has been a fixture throughout the five seasons of the IPL. Will he help them avoid elimination tomorrow?

Kieron Pollard has had a productive season, making 204 runs at 145.71 and picking up 15 wickets at 7.93. Add to that his sharp fielding and safe catching. He had come in at No. 8 in that 2010 final with the game almost lost by then. What will he do in the 2012 eliminator?

During his Man-of-the-Match performance against Delhi Daredevils in Chennai, Ben Hilfenhaus uprooted Virender Sehwag's off stump with a late outswinger in the first over, and three balls later, dismissed David Warner. Michael Hussey has said that the new ball will be crucial in Bangalore. That adds more importance to Hilfenhaus' role.

Team combination

Dwayne Smith's explosiveness with the bat - demonstrated earlier this season when he had three balls from Ben Hilfenhaus to score the 14 needed for victory, and did - should get him into the XI. Lasith Malinga and Pollard are guaranteed starters. Who will get the fourth overseas player's spot - James Franklin or Herschelle Gibbs? With so many hitters in the line-up, it makes sense to go for the all-round skills of Franklin. Their latest opening combination, Sachin Tendulkar and Smith, worked for Mumbai Indians against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. Will Smith partner Tendulkar again on Wednesday?

With MS Dhoni playing both the overseas allrounders, Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel, whenever they've been available, two spots remain. Hilfenhaus, who has been outstanding apart from those three deliveries to Smith, should take one place. Will Super Kings choose their highest run-getter of the season, Faf du Plessis, over the seasoned Michael Hussey? Ideally not.

Meetings this season

In the opening game of this season, Super Kings collapsed to 112 in Chennai, and Richard Levi shut them out with a fifty on IPL debut. It was Mumbai Indians' turn to collapse, from 134 for 1 to 159 for 8, at the Wankhede Stadium, before Smith's last-over assault got them home.

Stats and trivia

  • Super Kings have the best win-loss ratio in the IPL - 1.45. Mumbai Indians are next with 1.34.
  • Mumbai Indians have taken the most wickets in the IPL - 480.
  • Michael Hussey has the highest batting average for Super Kings - 39.76.


    "We've stumbled through a number of times to get into the semi-finals. I remember when Dhoni hit two sixes against [Kings XI] Punjab a couple of years ago, that was the difference in finishing fourth and in finishing sixth or seventh. You can look at it as a lucky way, because other teams were defeated in the last few games. But we were able to get enough points in all of our matches leading up to the finals."
    Chennai Super Kings' batsman Michael Hussey

    Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • krishna on May 23, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    I am eagerly waiting for this match and thanks to harbhajan singh to retain kulkarni instead of taking the foolish munaf patel.

  • Soumya on May 23, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    A great day for me as one of the worst team of the tournament will be eliminated.. hate both MI and CSK.

  • Univ on May 23, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Toss may be an important factor, regardless both captains would want to bat first. Mumbai might be happier either way. CSK are no longer batting like the champions and their bowling with the exception of foreign players look rather innocuous. Neither teams show the passion and hunger as much as Delhi or Kolkatta, so it remains to be seen which of the two no-so-better teams is going to show up in Bangalore. Going by the recent past records, odds are in favor of Mumbai.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Luck is always on our side ... MS is a cool decent caption... win or lose he wil be cool ... i think today match wil be rocking by CSK......

  • Sasikumar on May 23, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    CSK is designed to win matches especialy in tough times it has perfect blend of mixed talents. Other than last punjab match they dominated KKR, DD and RR like a true defending champs.....Pressure is not new to them hope CSK rock today...

  • FARHAN on May 23, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    My three advices to CSK for the eliminator game are :

    1) If you win the toss, Dhoni please bowl first. There may be slight rain in B'lore as well,so D/L will help. Even if it doesnt rain bowl first.

    2) If you bat first,bat without fear. Just go destroy the bowling attack. This is an excellent pitch with short boundaries,you'll have gr8 batting talents,just go and clean mumbai's bowling (even malinga !) and try to reach 200+.

    3) While bowling, please Dhoni, don't give any over to Jadeja.He'll go for many runs. 4 overs to Hilfenhaus, Bravo, Ashwin & Jakati. 2 overs to Raina & Albie.

    As for Mumbai Indians, the only advice I would like to give them is surrender to CSK !!Your overratted batting and bowling has more weaknesses than Chennai :P Which team collapses to 24-7 in T20 ??? Don't worry CSK, no weapon is as deadly as revenge !! All the best !!!

  • Senthilvasan on May 23, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Toss plays a crucial role in knock-out games, as chasing team gets under more pressure. It was proved in DD vs KKR match. MI is favourite on paper. But CSK raises it's performance bar when pushed against wall.. Until & unless Sachin, Smith & Pollard explode with the bat, CSK is more likely to win this match if they bat first.. If MI bat first, then it depends on how the opening partnership of Hussey & Vijay face Malinga. Also it will be interesting to watch if Raina strikes form. If he does, the CSK will be surely the favourites to win this tournament, especially next two games are going to be in their home. The main weakness of MI is their spin. Bhajji seems to be out of sorts, hence MI needs a good spin option, considering the big hitting lower middle of CSK. It's going to be a cracker of a high scoring match, that's for the sure.. May the best team win.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    CSK is only team same foreign and indian player from last 5 years. Just anirudh got chance because of father. is it really representing chennai have not seen young talent of south.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Smith & Sachin needs to give a superfast start... & then others need to go Bang BAng Bang... in Bangalore.... As per the Repo... MI has in Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium.. They have never lost a match here... :) So to beat Mumbai Indians in Bangalore would be another MI (MIssion Impossible) for CSK... This is gonna be very tight match... I am gonna get my PoPcorn tub ready before the match... ;)

  • adithya on May 23, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    i want mi to win this ipl but i love dhoni .he is the best captain india have ever heard.people who are saying that he lost 8 overseas test matches should understand that captain can't win a test match alone.he needs support from other players so there is no point in blaming dhoni for those defeats.good luck dhoni and good luck to csk and mi.i'm supporting both.

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