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IPL EL CLASSICO – MI vs CSK Preview on Key Players

Indian Premier League is back but with an altered look. As COVID threat is still significant, this year’s IPL will take place in a bio-secure bubble. This marks the third time IPL got scheduled outside India. Chennai Super Kings will face their nemesis & defending Champion Mumbai Indians on the opening night. Fan made rivalry between these two squads created a mini EL CLASSICO in the IPL.

Sharing 7 titles between each other these two teams played 4 IPL finals against each other in 12 seasons. Mumbai Indians looks as formidable as last year with new additions to roster while CSK losing services of two key players will try to get most out of the current squad. The Ranchi dynamite Mahendra Singh Dhoni will pad up for the first time after 1 year sabbatical away from cricket. While the two teams prepare strategies against each other let us have a look at 4 key players for both the sides.

MUMBAI INDIANS KEY PLAYERS for the IPL EL CLASSICO

Batsmen

Rohit Sharma IPL EL classico
Picture Source: Twitter | Rohit Sharma
  • Rohit Sharma –  No.1 attribute for the blues. Rohit Sharma Criticized by many as a lazy batsmen who lacked footwork is now the third highest run scorer in IPL. The Mumbaikar surprised everyone with his resurgence for India and developed into one of the most talented batsmen .He led Mumbai to four IPL trophies most for any captain and has the second highest win percentage. Mumbai skipper will stick to the opening duties this season. Coming from an injury MI will hope he gets back into form as soon as possible.

Stats : MP -188, Runs- 4898, Avg – 31.60 , 100’s -1, 50’s -36

BOWLERS

  • Jasprit Bumrah – India’s indispensable asset in the limited overs cricket. Boom Boom Bumrah as fans nicknamed him, he is known for most deadliest yorkers and versatile death bowling skills.  He has one of the most celebrated resume for any bowler in a very short span. With Malinga out of the season he will lead the bowling department . Rohit needs to use Bumrah’s 4 overs tactically otherwise it will prove costly.

Stats : MP -77, Wickets- 82,  Bowling Avg – 26.59 , Eco.Rate- 7.56

ALL-ROUNDERS

  • Hardik Pandya – Hailed as the successor of MS Dhoni in finishing, Hardik did a tremendous job in IPL last year living up to the name. He was the 2nd most valuable player of the season and deserves more than half of the credit for winning the trophy for his team. Hardik’s blistering 91 against KKR will be remembered as a classic despite the loss. Perks of being an all rounder he took some important wickets shifting the momentum for his team. Coming from injury, the team will wish he repeats last years performances.

Stats : MP -66, Runs- 1068, Avg – 28.86 ,S.R-  50’s -3

 Wickets- 42,  Bowling Avg – 31.26 , Eco.Rate- 9.07

  • Kieron Pollard – 6 Foot Caribbean all rounder is well known for his great athleticism on the field and also sending sixes out of the park effortlessly. On his day, no bowler can contain his ruthlessness. The  vantage point of tomorrow’s game is that he has a tremendous record against the yellows and he is coming straight from a winning CPLT20 campaign.

Stats : MP -148, Runs- 2755, Avg – 28.7 , S.R- 146.78 , 50’s -14

 Wickets- 56,  Bowling Avg – 31.61 , Eco.Rate- 8.86

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS KEY PLAYERS for the IPL EL CLASSICO

Chennai Super kings IPL el classico
Image source: Twitter| CSK team

Batsmen

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni –  A name which does not need an introduction. Despite announcing retirement this year he informed he will continue to play IPL for coming up seasons. Cricket fans have not seen his batting prowess for more than year so a fan fest is awaiting for everyone this season. Leading the run chart for CSK last year MSD had shut the mouth of the haters giving a warning to the opponents that he is not done yet. His captaincy strategies, lightning quick keeping actions is why CSK always find themselves spot in playoffs.

Stats : MP -190, Runs- 4432, Avg – 42.21 , S.R- 137.85 , 50’s -23

  • Shane Watson – The Veteran Australian player had a two impeccable season record playing for CSK after its return. He led them into two finals and scored a century in 2018 winning a trophy for them.With Raina out of the contest his team will rely on him more than last time.  He has 4 IPL centuries out of which he scored 2 for CSK in last 2 years. Owing to his shoulder concerns he may not bowl much this season.

Stats : MP -134, Runs- 3575, Avg – 31.09 , S.R- 139.54 , 50’s -19,100’s-4

BOWLERS

  • Imran Tahir – One of the oldest players in IPL this season(41 years) who will be remembered for his celebratory runs in spite of his googlies. He is vital for the hopes of CSK with Harbhajan Singh out of contention due to personal reasons. South African leg spinner was tremendous during last two years & made batsmen struggle with awkward bounce and his wrist action. He won the purple cap last year with 26 scalps.

Stats : MP -55, Wickets- 79,  Bowling Avg – 20.39 , Eco.Rate- 7.88

ALL-ROUNDERS

  • Dwayne Bravo – “Champion” Bravo actions off &on the field is always a feast to watch. West Indies all rounder played a crucial role for Chennai in last 6 years and continues to do so with his all round abilities. Death bowling role will be entirely handled by him again this season. He is coming in form winning a CPLT20 championship with Trinbago Knight Riders.

Stats : MP -134, Runs- 1483, Avg – 23.17 , S.R- 128.29 , 50’s -5

 Wickets- 147,  Bowling Avg – 24.61 , Eco.Rate- 8.4

Head to Head 

  • Played – 30*
  • Mumbai Won- 18
  • Chennai Won – 12

* – including two CL T20 fixtures

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