Despite captain MS Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming indicating that the season might just be over for Chennai Super Kings, but their bouncebackability will be put to a sore test when their face old nemesis Mumbai Indians at the Sharjah Cricket Ground on Friday, given that the team is still well part of the race to the playoffs even amid late ressurection from a few teams. The last time the two faced each other was in the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and despite the absence of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, CSK had comprehensively beaten the defending champions. But since then, the two sides have incurred a different path. Chennai were hammered in seven or their next nine games to slip to to the bottom of the points table, while Mumbai won six of their next eight games to stand on the brink of playoffs qualification.
Head-to-head tie: The only team to have a positive win-loss record against CSK are Mumbai Indians, having won 18 of their 41 T20 meetings, which includes victories in eight of their last 10 meetings. Chennai had however arrested Mumbai's rampaging five-win streak against them with a five-wicket win last month in Abu Dhabi.
At the venue: Chennai lost both the matches played at the venue this season, losing to Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs and to Delhi Capitals by five wickets. Mumbai Indians won the only match they played at the venue in IPL 2020, beating SRH by 32 runs.
- Should CSK stick with Sam Curran as their opener? In four innings he has scored 73 runs off 59 balls at a strike rate of 123.73 and an average of just 19.75. His strike rate increases to 133.5 in T20s at any other position with three fifties, his best coming at No.3 and 4, owing to his ability to play spin well.
- Curran and Jadeja can be used simultaneously during the middle overs to counter the Mumbai Indians spinners.
- Bumrah has an excellent record against three of CSK batters - Shane Watson (47 runs, 54 balls, two dismissals), Dhoni (47 runs, 51 balls, three dismissals), and Curran (14 runs, five balls two dismissals).
- Suryakumar Yadav has been Mumbai's best batsman against CSK since 2018, scoring 290 runs at over 40 an average. He can be countered by two varieties - a leggie (eight dismissals at 21.5 since 2018) and left-arm medium (four dismissals at 21 since 2018).