The Mumbai Indians will take on the Chennai Super Kings in the second IPL playoffs game of the fifth season, the Eliminator, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
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The Mumbai Indians had managed to make it through to the playoffs after Punjab were ousted of the tournament in their last game, rendering their last win against Rajasthan inconsequential. Still, Mumbai’s 10-wicket win over Royals in the final league game should send out the kind of signals that their opponents may not want to hear.
Fortunately for the Super Kings, they qualified for the playoffs after Punjab, Rajasthan and Bangalore capitulated at their last hurdle. It was a miraculous entry and now with days of break behind their back, the Super Kings will hope to make it three wins in a row this season to win their third title in succession. You can check the IPL 2012 playoffs format
These two teams have played each other twice this season, including the first game on April 4 and the Mumbai Indians have won both these matches. Continuing with the theme of three, can Mumbai make it three in a row?
The winner of this game will take on Delhi Daredevils in the second Qualifier, in a game that will decide the second finalist.
Mumbai Indians are slightly ahead but never count out the Super Kings, who have wriggled out of difficult situations before. Ladbrokes
offers 10/11 for a Mumbai win while Chennai is 1/1 (Blue Square
) if they beat their opponents.
The Mumbai Indians have made most number of changes to the top of the innings and only one match before the playoffs they had Dwayne Smith opening with Sachin Tendulkar. The combination clicked for the Mumbai Indians but it remains to be seen how consistent the pair can remain.
The other key issue is whether Herschelle Gibbs will be selected. He is a big-match player and has batted extremely well under pressure – including for the Deccan Chargers in the final of the 2009 IPL. He had a good start to this tournament with a well-made half-century but was later dropped after two failures.
If Gibbs does come in to the side, James Franklin may have to sit out. The other question for the Mumbai Indians is whether they want to continue with Dhawal Kulkarni for this game who played only the last match against Rajasthan Royals and bagged three wickets. The other option obviously is to go back to Munaf Patel, who has been highly inconsistent this season.
Chennai Super Kings are a side that do not change things around too much and it looks likely that there will not be too many differences from the side that lost their last game. Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel will make it to the team as two of the overseas players with Ben Hilfenhaus to be their pace bowling option. Michael Hussey should nudge ahead of Faf du Plessis.
Suresh Raina’s form has been pretty average this season with no half century to his name. In fact, apart from du Plessis, who has three 50s, Chennai have managed a total of only two half-centuries in the season!
Mumbai openers against Ben Hilfenhaus
Lasith Malinga versus Chennai in the slog overs.
IPL 2012 live options:
You can watch the Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings IPL 2012 playoffs match live online here
. You can also watch the Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings IPL 2012 live on Sony’s Set Max in India and ITV4 in the UK from 2.30 pm GMT on May 23.