Friday, May 8, 2015
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Just like last year, Mumbai Indians have found their bearings at the right time after starting slowly. Coming on the back of four successive wins, three of which have been at home, the away game against Chennai Super Kings will provide as stern a test as any.
They finally seemed to have found the right combination, and the return
of Corey Anderson from a finger injury couldn't have been more opportune, although his availability for the Super Kings encounter is still unknown. Mumbai will also be without Lasith Malinga as Sri Lankan players are not allowed to play in Chennai.
Super Kings, on the other hand, have always been doubly hard to beat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, and the win against Royal Challengers Bangalore after a couple of losses would only have boosted their confidence.
With the tournament reaching its business end, R Ashwin, sidelined with a finger injury, will be crucial to Super Kings' fortunes. Their team manager, Russell Radhakrishnan told ESPNcricinfo that Ashwin will be assessed at the ground on Friday, before a decision is made on his availability.
The weather forecast is for a typically sultry evening, while the pitch is expected to be similar to the one used for the Royal Challengers game.
Chennai Super Kings WLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Mumbai Indians WWWWL
Faf du Plessis
' position in the Super Kings batting line-up has been fluid. He has been used as a finisher as well as in the top order, and hasn't done badly in either role. Scores of 24, 33, 20 and 29* in his last four innings show that du Plessis has played good hands without going on to make bigger scores. He would want to change that soon.
has remained unbeaten in his last three innings, two of those after contributing significantly to Mumbai's wins. His ability to read the situation and adapt accordingly has made him a critical part of the team's plans. Be it shoring up one end or finishing with a blaze, Rayudu's services will be called upon against Super Kings.
"I have made runs in the last seven seasons and I am very proud of those performances. But the way I am enjoying my batting this season, I haven't done in the past."
Suresh Raina isn't bothered by the relatively fewer runs this season
"Pressure brings the best out of me. I stay a lot calmer when I have a target it mind and I know how to pace an innings."
Ambati Rayudu on the secret of his success