Mumbai will look to put their inconsistent start behind them when they cross swords with a resurgent Chennai in match 27 of the Indian T20 League 2021 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Saturday, May 1.
After losing their opening game to Delhi, MS Dhoni-led Chennai have won five games on the trot to secure the top spot in the league standings. Their latest victory - a seven-wicket win over Hyderabad - was anchored by the 129-run partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis for the first wicket.
On the flip side, Mumbai has three wins from six games and recently snapped out of their two-game losing streak with a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan.
A win for Mumbai could help them move within two points of the top three, while table-toppers Chennai will look to build an advantage to their place at the summit of the Indian T20 League standings.
Mumbai vs Chennai probable playing XI
Mumbai's middle-order has lost steam in recent matches, which is astonishing for a team that has boasts one of the best batting orders in the competition. However, skipper Rohit Sharma could rotate his options by letting Hardik Pandya bat ahead of Kieron Pollard and see Krunal Pandya come in at number six. The bowling, meanwhile, is likely to remain unchanged despite Nathan Coulter-Nile going expensive in his last outing.
Mumbai predicted XI: Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma (captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav
Chennai, meanwhile, are expected to retain the same playing XI that ran out winners against Hyderabad.
Chennai predicted XI: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (captain & wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi
Mumbai vs Chennai prediction: Who will win?
The Mumbai vs Chennai head-to-head record lies in favour of Rohit Sharma and Co, who have won 18 of the 30 encounters against Chennai. Additionally, Mumbai have won four of the last five meetings. The odds, thus, are in favour of a Mumbai, but the current form guide could play a significant role in MS Dhoni's men spelling trouble for the defending champions.
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Top Tip: Best Batsmen
It goes without saying that a fantastic knock from Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma can engineer his side to a comprehensive victory in the Indian T20 League. The 34-year-old has aggregated 626 runs against the Yellow Brigade, and is poised to add to his tally of 215 runs at a strike rate of 125.73.
On the other hand, Chennai's Suresh Raina is well-placed to put in a match-winning performance with the bat against Mumbai. The veteran batsman has a great record against Mumbai, hitting 704 runs, including an unbeaten 83 in the 2010 edition.
Top Tip: Best Bowlers
Lungi Ngidi has been involved in just two games for Chennai this season, but he has managed to scalp five wickets. The Proteas pacer has never gone wicketless in any fixture he has played so far and will be someone to reckon with in overs 17-20, where he has taken 13 wickets at the cost of 9.75 runs per over.
Dew is expected to play a significant role, and considering his form this season, Mumbai will pin their hopes on Rahul Chahar to frustrate the Chennai batsmen. The spinner has 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.08, and will be eager to wreak havoc over the opposition's opening batters, who are in solid form at the moment.
Top Tips: All-rounder and Wicket-keeper
With three of the most pivotal T20 all-rounders in their ranks, Mumbai have a slight edge in this category. Despite his hot-and-cold performances this season, Hardik Pandya is someone worth placing your bet on considering his explosive batting skills.
On the other hand, Chennai will look up to the influential Ravindra Jadeja to continue red-hot form against Mumbai. The all-rounder has been spectacular with the bat and the ball, and on the field this term, and MS Dhoni will hope his lieutenant will add to Mumbais' ongoing troubles in their meeting at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Saturday.
In the wicket-keeping slot, MS Dhoni is the outright choice ahead of Quinton de Kock. The former Indian cricket team captain has accounted for 150 dismissals in the Indian T20 League, and is closing on 100 catch dismissals in the competition.
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Featured photo: Twitter / Mumbai Indians