Super Kings test for Mumbai

Super Kings test for Mumbai

Formidable Chennai look to end Indians' unbeaten record at home

Super Kings test for Mumbai

They have been unconquered at home so far but Mumbai Indians face an arduous task to extend the record as they face a rampaging Chennai Super Kings in their IPL match here on Sunday.

Chennai are coming into the match with seven wins on the trot and they are the only team to have won all their four away games this season, so Mumbai have a task cut out even as they had beaten the same rivals when they met first time.

Both the teams appear to be even on paper with their star-studded line-ups that bat quite deep but on the points table Chennai (18) stand atop following nine wins from 11 games while Mumbai (12) are fourth with six wins.

Mumbai’s three-match winning streak has been snapped with the seven-wicket defeat against Hyderabad in their previous game but their batting appears to be settled and has delivered in the four home games.

They have rattled up huge scores of 209/5 against the Delhi Daredevils, 194/7 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, 183/3 against Pune Warriors, and 174/3 against Kings XI Punjab in home games.

Opener Dwayne Smith has been in good touch, aggregating 194 runs in six matches, with two half-centuries in his kitty. Batting great Sachin Tendulkar has scored just one fifty this year while amassing 171 runs in 10 games and the local hero would be keen to score big against formidable Chennai.

The middle-order has been the strength for the hosts, with wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Kaarthick, skipper Rohit and West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard being the leading run scorers for them.

The Mumbai captain has registered four half-centuries, scoring 375 runs in 10 matches at an average of 53.57, while the Trinidadian Pollard has struggled in the last two games.

The bowling, which has Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson, also poses a threat to the opposition, with the duo providing the early breakthroughs.

They have been complemented well by Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha. Sri Lankan Malinga has been able to pick up only six wickets in his eight games while Australian Johnson and off-spinner Harbhajan are the leading wicket-takers for the side, with 12 each.

Chennai, on the other hand, have been in destructive form, having remained unbeaten in their last seven games.

Except the two losses at home against Mumbai and Pune, the two-time IPL champions haven’t put a foot wrong and are almost through to the play-offs.

* Suresh Raina: The left-hander had a rather slow start to IPL VI, but in the last few matches Raina has found his range. His form will be critical for CSK against Mumbai Indians, who, perhaps, have the most potent pace attack in the competition.

* Lasith Malinga: The Lankan pacer has not been at the top of his game. The ‘Slinger’ has struggled to land his dreaded yorkers on target, and even rookies have plundered runs off him. But if he can regain his control, then Chennai face a massive task.

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