The two most successful teams in IPL history are struggling this season but Matt Harris expects CSK to build on some positive recent results when they play Mumbai Indians on Thursday…
Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians
Thursday May 12, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Chennai cling on
My last prediction went entirely to plan as Devon Conway led CSK to victory over Delhi on Sunday. Clearly there were issues at the start of the tournament but Chennai finally have the ideal balance in the team and the right mix of overseas players.
New Zealand’s Conway is a force in all formats while Moeen Ali’s contributions have largely come with ball in hand. I’d prefer to see Dwaine Pretorious in for Dwayne Bravo who is probably one to move on at the end of the season.
It may be all too late but the Super Kings have some momentum and I expect them to keep fighting until a playoff slot becomes mathematically impossible.
Mumbai move on
For Mumbai Indians, it’s all about 2023 and how the franchise responds to a dismal season. Just two wins from 11 games means that the most successful team in tournament history are the first to be eliminated at IPL 15.
Players such as Kieron Pollard will come under the spotlight as Mumbai fans regret the decision to leave Tim David out of the side for so long. David is a ready-made replacement and one of a number of reasons why those supporters can be positive for the future.
With teenagers Tilak Varma and Dewald Brevis improving and Jofra Archer to come in, 2023 can be bright. For now, a Mumbai Indians team who are already eliminated after making 113 against KKR last time out, are set to drift for the remainder of the competition.
No home comforts at the Wankhede
Mumbai Indians might feel at home at the Wankhede Stadium but they are winless here at IPL 15. Chennai have also lost on two previous visits to this ground so something has to give on Thursday.
In 14 games on these Wankhede surfaces, the average first innings score comes in at a shade over 171. There is an even split with seven games going to the chasing side and the remaining seven to the side taking first knock.
The toss may not, therefore, have great relevance but expect the winning skipper to insert and look to restrict their opponents to something around that 171 average.
Four wins from 11 games isn’t exactly a stunning record but it’s enough to give CSK the edge over their bottom of the table opponents. Chennai start as favourites at 1.875/6 while Mumbai Indians are trailing at 2.1211/10.
Three of those Super Kings victories have come in their last five games so there is some momentum. Hope of a playoff place, however faint, is also driving CSK.
Mumbai, with nothing to play for, should capitulate against a Chennai team that has found the right formula at the wrong time.
It’s not been the best of tournaments for Ambati Rayudu and he could be playing for his future place. He did top score in the win over Mumbai in the reverse fixture and I just feel he has a point to get across in this improving side.
Based on the old, class is permanent, form is temporary cliché, I’m backing Rayudu to top score for Chennai Super Kings at 9/2. Other options include Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is boosted on the Sportsbook to 3/1, plus Devon Conway at 11/4, Moeen Ali at 15/2 and MS Dhoni at 20/1.
When you’re relying on Ishan Kishan for runs, you know your team is in trouble. That’s unfair, I know, but he’s not the most consistent of batters at the top of the order. Kishan has, however, top scored in each of Mumbai’s last two games and he’s available at 11/4 to do so again.
I’m staying with two tips for this game but there are more options. At the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad to each hit at least 30 runs looks especially tempting at 4/1.
Source: Betfair Cricket