The Super Kings are all set to play their first match of the IPL-2013. And what are the chances for the most successful team in the IPL history for winning their third title this time round? First on their way is the team from Mumbai, led by their new skipper, Ricky Ponting.
As always, Chennai has the best finisher in the world, MS Dhoni leading them. With their star players Murali Vijay, Ravichandran Ashwin & Ravindra Jadeja having a fantastic test series against Australia just before a week, they definitely have their tails up. And having the Mr.Cricket in the top of their order along with Vijay will only add strength to their batting line up. Suresh Raina coming at No.3 would love to show why he is the most successful and consistent player in the history of IPL ( 2254 runs in 81 matches). And in Dwayne Bravo, they have an all-rounder to rely on in any situation, with bat or ball. Personally, I would be interested to see the debut of Baba Aparajith, who contributed well in India’s U-19 world cup victory. Under MSD, this lad is only going to learn the tricks of the trade much faster and become a better cricketer. And the important question is, who will be the other 2 non-Indian players going to be in the playing 11 for today’s match? Will they blood in Chris Morris, their costliest buy this season? Or will they go for the death bowling specialist in Ben Laughlin? Nannes & Hilfenhaus would be the other options.
As far as the Mumbai Indians are concerned, they would definitely like to forget the defeat against RCB and focus on getting on to the points table. With the God and the Punter, they have a match made in heaven as the openers. If these two stalwarts get going, then the Mumbai Indians would be unstoppable and with Rohit Sharma, Rayudu & Dinesh Karthik to follow, they have the potential to build a huge score. But unfortunately, Rayudu & Rohit didn’t have a memorable match against the RCB and they really have to come with a positive mindset to make a mark with the bat. And the one question in the mind of every MI fan is, “Why Pollard is batting so lower down the order?”. The Trinidadian who can make any total look like a joke got just 2 balls to face against RCB. There are instances in the past as well, where he didn’t get enough balls to face and those have resulted in MI losses. Looks like the MI think tank is not learning from it’s mistakes. They can’t afford a tactical blunder like this against the Super Kings. On the bowling front, they have a veteran in Bhajji who surely wants to prove the Indian selectors wrong. (He is left out of the list of 30 probables for the Champions Trophy). Munaf looked ordinary against RCB and Bumrah with his unorthodox bowling action picked up 3 wickets but leaked a lot of runs. Malinga not playing this match for non-cricketing reasons is also a blow for the MI camp. For me, the bowling performance of MI will go a long way in deciding their fate in this match.
With the match being held in Chennai, the home team has a greater advantage for sure. Especially in summer and a city where the weather is only defined as hot, hotter & hottest, it is always going to be a tough task for the visiting teams. I will put my money on CSK for this match.
My playing eleven for today’s match :
CSK : Vijay, Hussey, Raina, Badrinath, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Morris, Aparajith, Ashwin, Hilfenhaus.
MI : Sachin, Ponting, Karthik, Rayudu, Sharma, Pollard, Johnson, Oram, Harbhajan, Bumrah, Kulkarni.