Mumbai: After scripting an incredible finish in their last game to earn a place at the play-offs, defending champions Mumbai Indians will now be up against two-time titleholders Chennai Super Kings in the IPL eliminator here Wednesday.
The resurgent MI, who sealed a berth at the play-offs by virtue of a better net run rate after producing an improbable runchase against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday, would be eager to continue in the same vein but they face a daunting task against a formidable side at the Brabourne Stadium.
Kiwi batsman Corey Anderson conjured up an astonishing 44-ball 95 under tremendous pressure to single-handedly power Mumbai Indians to the IPL play-offs as the hosts rattled Rajasthan Royals by five wickets in a high-scoring thriller.
Requiring to chase down a 190-run target within 15 overs, Mumbai Indians overhauled the target in just 14.4 overs.
The last edition's winners have certainly come a long way, following the first phase in the UAE where the Rohit Sharma-led team tasted five defeats in a row.
Mumbai seems to have put behind its opening woes, with a successful combination of former Australian player Michael Hussey and West Indian Lendl Simmons, who has scored the only century so far.
Ambati Rayudu and skipper Rohit Sharma have been in good touch and the middle-order is a force to reckon with powered by the hard-hitting Anderson and West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard.
Mumbai's bowling attack looks weak in the absence of Lasith Malinga, who is representing Sri Lanka in the series against England. Praveen Kumar, who was a replacement to Zaheer Khan sustained an ankle injury and it is unclear whether the Uttar Pradesh pacer will feature in the crucial tie against Chennai Super Kings.
The addition of young Karnataka leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal has added teeth to the bowling department with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh being in his elements.