Despite a couple of losses in recent times, the Chennai Super Kings are still the team to beat in this season’s IPL. Similar to their 2018 campaign, Chennai have barely put a foot wrong. With a spot already booked in the playoffs, Chennai’s main goal will be to get the entire team firing before the big dance. Their opponents the Mumbai Indians have had a strong second half of the tournament, and one more win could see them consolidate a spot in the playoffs alongside Chennai.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai notched up their eighth win of the 2019 IPL against Hyderabad a couple of days ago, claiming back their spot at the top of the throne which Delhi had previously stolen. It’s been another dominant showing from the Super Kings this season, however they still haven’t performed to their true potential which is a scary prospect. We finally got to see the real Shane Watson in their last match, the Australian all-rounder had previously been struggling in the tournament with the bat averaging just 14.70. Chennai kept the faith in Watson and were rewarded handsomely with a match-winning knock of 96 off just 53 balls, not a bad return to form for Watto! Ambati Rayudu is slowly but surely starting to regain his form with the willow, and Suresh Raina looked in extremely good touch before he was dismissed for a quick-fire 38. Batting depth is not an issue for this team, Ravindra Jadeja averages 22 in this format coming in at No. 8.
Harbhajan Singh has been the most efficiently-used bowler in this year’s IPL, and credit has to go to MS Dhoni. Harbhajan has played four out of his five matches in Chennai, he’s taken all 9 wickets at home which seems to be a winning formula for CSK. Come playoffs time, it might be a different story. Deepak Chahar continues to make an impact with the new ball, he’s now got 14 wickets in the tournament and has been one of CSK’s more influential players in 2019. It was only the third time this season that Proteas leggy Imran Tahir was kept wicketless, he’s been an absolute wrecking ball for his IPL franchise in 2019 with 16 wickets to his name. With Dwayne Bravo back in the picture, Chennai has a star-studded bowling attack to go along with their destructive batting line-up.
You’re seeing a team that has got the potential to make it all the way this year starting to peak just at the right time. A win tomorrow night could see the Mumbai Indians steal second spot from the Capitals on the points table, they’ll be made to work for it though as they head to Chennai, a venue that is dominated by the home side. The consistency shown by the likes of Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya has more than made up for a misfiring-Rohit Sharma. 378 runs in the 2019 IPL so far, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has proved to be a brilliant buy for the Mumbai Indians as a power-hitting opener. Mumbai must continue to persist with Kieron Pollard at No. 5 just like in their last match, he’s shown what he can do when he’s given time at the crease with some match-winning knocks against the Sunrisers & Kings XI. There appears to be no vacant spots for the out of favour Yuvraj Singh, his last appearance for Mumbai was April 3rd.
Back-to-back three-wicket hauls for 19-year-old leggy Rahul Chahar has given Mumbai an extra element of surprise in their already-impressive bowling unit featuring Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and the Pandya brothers. They’ve had a knack of brining in bowlers this season who’ve instantly influenced matches, Lasith Malinga and Alzarri Joseph immediately come to mind. Bumrah’s bowling continues to make trouble opposition batsmen, he’s sheer pace & change up’s make him a nightmare to score off both in the powerplay and at the backend of the innings. Last time these two teams met, Lasith Malinga and Hardik Pandya picked up three wickets each resulting in the Mumbai Indians winning by 37 runs.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Chennai Super Kings
- Deepak Chahar
- Suresh Raina
- Shane Watson
- Harbhajan Singh
Wildcard pick – MS Dhoni
Top 4 fantasy picks – Mumbai Indians
- Hardik Pandya
- Rahul Chahar
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Rohit Sharma
Wildcard pick – Kieron Pollard
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson 2. Faf du Plessis 3. Suresh Raina 4. Ambati Rayudu 5. Kedar Jadhav 6. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 7. Dwayne Bravo 8. Ravindra Jadeja 9. Harbhajan Singh 10. Deepak Chahar 11. Imran Tahir.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Quinton de Kock (wk) 2. Rohit Sharma © 3. Suryakumar Yadav 4. Hardik Pandya 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Ben Cutting 7. Krunal Pandya 8. Rahul Chahar 9. Jasprit Bumrah 10. Mayank Markande 11. Lasith Malinga.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.