Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, Abu Dhabi
Mumbai have won eight out of their last ten games against Super Kings, so the best plan would be to pick most of the players from their team
Given the low average team totals in Abu Dhabi, pick at least six bowling options (including allrounders)
Our XI: Quinton De Kock, Rohit Sharma, Faf du Plessis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, Jasprit Bumrah, Deepak Chahar
Substitutes: Lungi Ngidi, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Rahul Chahar
Player availability: Ruturaj Gaikwad, the young Super Kings batsman, is on the road to recovery after testing positive for Covid-19, and will not be available for selection.
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: Rohit Sharma
The Mumbai captain scored 405 runs last season, which made it a below-par IPL for him, considering his incredible standards. But there’s no reason to believe he won’t be among the runs in the 2020 season-opener, and we will back him to come good.
Vice-captain: Suryakumar Yadav
Yadav was without a doubt the best Mumbai batsman against Super Kings last season, scoring 145 runs at a strike rate of 127.19. He scored runs for fun at times, and looked at ease especially during his 71 not out in 54 balls in Qualifier 1. On what could be a track similar to that in Chennai, Yadav is an excellent vice-captain option.
Kieron Pollard: Pollard has come off a fantastic CPL. He won games from extremely tough situations with the bat and even put up a big show with the ball in the final. Overall, he scored 207 runs at an average of 51.75 and a staggering strike rate of 204.95 (best among batsmen with over 100 runs in the competition).
Imran Tahir: Another player who had an outstanding CPL 2020, finishing as the third-highest wicket-taker overall, with 15 wickets at an economy of 5.82. Tahir was also the pick of the Super Kings bowlers against Mumbai last season, with six wickets at an economy of 7.86.
Ambati Rayudu: Rayudu could bat at No. 3 – in Raina’s absence – or even open the innings. Do note that Rayudu’s record as an opener or at No. 3 is significantly better than at other positions.
Nathan Coulter-Nile: Coulter-Nile could be the dark horse in this Mumbai side. He is capable of picking up crucial wickets at the top, bowl an over in the middle and finish off at the death. In the IPL, he has an economy of 7.02 in the powerplay and 7.21 in the middle overs to go with an impressive strike rate of 13.9.
Points to note:
The average first-innings score at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium in all T20s since 2018 is 146.
Pacers have conceded runs at 7.57 while spinners have gone at 6.60 at the venue in all T20s since 2018
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