Mumbai v Chennai, IPL 2010, Mumbai March 24, 2010

Chennai anxious for turnaround against Mumbai


Match facts

Mumbai v Chennai, in Mumbai
Thursday, March 25
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

The importance of momentum in the shortest format of the game cannot be over-emphasised, and the two teams that line up for match 21 of the IPL illustrate this in contrasting styles.

After finding a way past Yusuf Pathan in their opening game, Mumbai Indians have epitomised efficiency, be it in their in-form batting line-up, led by Sachin Tendulkar, or their star-studded bowling attack, which has achieved success by keeping things simple. Despite the slip-up against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the one team that has managed to look more complete than them in this tournament, Mumbai came back strongly to brush aside Kolkata Knight Riders with a concerted strategy to bowl in the block-hole, a script that was followed faithfully by everyone from Lasith Malinga to Harbhajan Singh. Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo have not made an impact with bat or ball, and that's not even been a cause for concern, showing how well the team has worked as a unit.

Contrast that with Chennai Super Kings, whose IPL campaign thus far has been a study in the art of flattering to deceive. MS Dhoni singlehandedly batted them to victory against Kolkata, but after turning in a clinical performance to out-punch Delhi Daredevils, Chennai have veered from the basics, failed to seize the crucial moments and lost their way.

If hare-brained batting in the end overs cost them the game against Kings XI Punjab, their bowlers' inability to maintain control in the death overs did them in against Bangalore. Nothing captures their current woes better than the way their most impressive suit - their catching - has fallen apart. While Chennai were spectacular in the field against Delhi, R Ashwin and Murali Vijay put down decisive sitters from Robin Uthappa on Tuesday. Add to the mix some questionable team decisions that have backfired - the inclusion of George Bailey, and the decision to use Ashwin in the slog overs - and you have a side that desperately needs its most influential player back.

Form guide (most recent first)

Mumbai WLWW
Chennai LLWWL

Team talk

If Dhoni makes it, he could not have timed his comeback better. Chennai's coach Stephen Fleming said that the team management was happy with his progress, and he seemed at ease during practice on Wednesday evening, but the final call will be taken on match day. If he's available, Parthiv Patel will relinquish the big gloves, and Murali Vijay could move up to open the innings. Bailey looked all at sea during his scratchy innings against Bangalore, and in Justin Kemp's continued absence, Thissara Perera could take his spot.

For the hosts, Sanath Jayasuriya could continue to sit out after an indifferent start to the tournament. "We want him to play explosive cricket. If he is not going to fulfill that role i don't think he is doing his job. We need to give him time and he has only played two games," Robin Singh, the Mumbai coach, assessed Jayasuriya's prospects.

Shikhar Dhawan looked impressive against Kolkata, in the absence of the injured Ambati Rayudu who is likely to miss out once again. Aditya Tare's dodgy showing behind the stumps is a minor source for worry, given that Mumbai don't have a replacement wicketkeeper in the squad.


Chennai 2 Mumbai 2

In 2008, Chennai drew first blood in this rivalry with Hayden's pyrotechnics just about outlasting Mumbai in the first encounter in Chennai. Mumbai had their revenge in the return match, winning by nine wickets, thanks to a Jayasuriya special. Mumbai prevailed again in the opening match of the 2009 edition, at Newlands, but Hayden returned the favour with a measured innings in Port Elizabeth, which all but knocked Mumbai out of the tournament.

In the spotlight

Muttiah Muralitharan has gone out of the way to emphasise that he has only looked to contain batsmen, but the purple cap on his head suggests he's also been attacking. Murali has always been a handful for left-handers, and of late, he has perfected the art of preying on right-hand batsmen with a nagging round-the-wicket line, making both the offspinner and the doosra potent weapons. Ask Mahela Jayawardene and Virat Kohli respectively. He has got the topspinner working well too, as Rahul Dravid found out on Tuesday. Murali's battle against Sachin Tendulkar could well emerge as the most important sub-plot in this match.

Barring one stupendous innings against Delhi, Matthew Hayden is yet to really impose himself on the opposition this year. He will be up against Harbhajan Singh tomorrow, another duel to watch out for, especially when he's batting with the Mongoose.

Prime numbers

  • Mumbai don't have a single bowler in the top 10 wicket-takers so far in the IPL. Harbhajan with four wickets is 14th on the list, while Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga have picked up three each.

  • With 28 fours, Sachin Tendulkar is second in the list of boundary-hitters, eight behind Jacques Kallis. Hayden, along with Uthappa, has hit the most sixes in the tournament - 11. Tendulkar has hit none.

  • With two fifties each in four innings, Tendulkar and Saurabh Tiwary are tied in second spot in the list of players with most 50-plus scores. Chennai's batsmen have between them managed only three 50-plus scores in five matches.

The chatter

"We wanted to use him as a batsman. In this format you hardly get on an average 25% of the balls through to the keeper. For the role we have given him we are happy with his performance."
Robin Singh, Mumbai's coach is not too concerned by Aditya Tare's wicketkeeping woes.

"We dropped two catches and also didn't bat well. I think, we have to relook at our batting line-up."
Stand-in captain Suresh Raina identifies one of Chennai's shortcomings in the loss to Bangalore.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vignesh on March 25, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    It is good to see perara getting a chance & vijay,ashwin is replaced.but i am still surprised that Ntini is missing instead of joginder,tyagi should be retained bcoz he bowled really well in last game against RCB.

  • Sajin on March 25, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    PLay Perera! He will rock tday

  • Sajin on March 25, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Chennai is not gonna win unless they play guys like ntini nd perera .... bailey is such a waste can they think of him in the eleven?? Cmon raina think postive positive... or else give way to the master Mahendra Singh Dhoni!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    @goforsandeep85: go with u without any issues.. well said

  • Manish on March 25, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    seeing performance in IPL so far, Indian squad for T20 world cup sud be Manish Pande, Gautam Gambhir, Saurabh Tiwari, Virendra Sehwag,Yuvraj Singh Mahendra S. Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar Praveen Kumar

    Extra: Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant, Kumble, R sathish

  • Saravana Kumar on March 25, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Bowling at the death,some shoddy fielding in the previous match, failing to hold nerves in the match against Punjab and most importantly, missing a charismatic captain in Dhoni all had made the life worse for CSK... Chennai of late has been making news only about the mongoose bat... Quickly gaining control in the upcoming matches is the need of the hour... Time for some changes in the squad and also for all the players in the team to be more responsible... Hope MSD plays today as his very influence will lift up the spirits of the team... Still, Chennai has all the talent to bounce back... Hope they play well in the upcoming matches... C'mmon CSK!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Mumbai doesn't have a replacement wicketkeeper ? As far as I know there are 6 wicket keepers in the side. We still have Pinal Shah and Takawale both played in IPL 1 and 2. Not to mention Marathe, who I think is a better choice than Aditya Tare.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    ya............ mumbai won

  • Swapnil on March 25, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    It seems we just have all the CSK fans here :) Good to know you guys don't mind Sachin playing well as always.

  • Hari on March 25, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    We wud've won last match if we got hold of that one of the sitters from Robin. Fielding need to be improved..and ofcourse Bailey is in a wrong tournament I think. MSD tactics to be watch out if he returns today against the Best Batsman in the world. Though am a fan of Chennai, I expect Sachin's feast in every match as a typical Indian.

  • No featured comments at the moment.