The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) will see the first match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians on September 19. Dubbed as one of the fiercest rivalries in IPL, the fans are waiting with baited breaths to watch the action go down.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) are statistically the best two teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008. CSK is the only team to have qualified for a knockout stage in every edition of IPL the franchise has participated in while Mumbai Indians have won the most number of IPL titles-4 times.
Boasting of the some of the biggest T20 cricket stars, both teams have a fierce team poster capable of defeating any team on their day. In this article, let’s take a look at the 5 player battles that can take place on September 19.
Kieron Pollard vs Dwayne Bravo
Having joined the franchise in 2010, Pollard has been a constant for the past 10 seasons for Mumbai Indians. He too like Malinga and Rohit was a part of four IPL titles with the franchise, the latest of which came last year. Besides his powerful batting, his athletic fielding makes him an invaluable asset in the squad. Off late in the last few seasons, Pollard has not bowled much for the franchise, still, he continues to be an important part of the playing XI. Along with Rohit, Malinga and Bumrah, Pollard forms the core of the side.
Similar to MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, Bravo too has become the face of the franchise. The 36-year old is the fifth highest wicket-taker in the league. He is one of the go-to players for MSD when he is looking for wickets and also is an electric wire on the field, to add to that he can swing his bat and score some important runs at the end.
It would be a treat to watch the West Indian showcase his talents yet again and take the team over the line. The Right-hander has 147 wickets in the 134 matches he has played in the IPL. He has scored 1483 runs at an average of 23 and strike-rate of 129 with 5 fifties.
Shane Watson vs Chris Lynn
The 39-year-old, who was bought by CSK ahead of the 2018 IPL, has scored 953 runs in 32 matches for the franchise in the last two years, besides capturing six wickets.
Watson has a highest score was 117 not out in the finals of the 2018 edition against SunRisers Hyderabad. And now with the absence of the likes of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh from the CSK camp, Watson will be an important member on whom the franchise will be banking on to deliver. Capable of opening both batting and bowling, Watson will be a key player in CSK’s plans for IPL 2020.
On the other end, opening the batting for MI will be the big-hitting Australian batsman Chris Lynn who was picked up by the franchise for 2crores. Lynn was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) squad in the last season before they released him. He amassed 405 runs in 13 matches at a strike-rate of 139.65. Overall, Lynn has scored 1280 runs in 41 games, with 93 being his best.
Chris Lynn will pump up the Mumbai squad, which has stars like Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, and Kieron Pollard. One good thing will be, he won’t have to face Bumrah and the Aussie can cause serious damage to any bowling lineup on his day.
Hardik Pandya vs Ravindra Jadeja
Pandya is heralded for his destructive batting and his accurate bowling is testing times. AN extremely acrobatic fielder, Hardik Pandya can win matches with his bat as well as ball and he is a perfect all-rounder choice for all the formats. Hardik Pandya has a total of 71 sixes in International cricket in all three formats and 68 sixes in IPL.
On the contrary, Ravindra Jadeja is known for his deceiving bowling as well as smashing batting. He has hit some shots which are a sight to watch.
Pandya and Jadeja are two reliable cricketers and their respective teams will be heavily reliant on them to churn results out in their favour.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Lungi Ngidi
The fulcrum of the Mumbai Indians bowling lineup, the franchise will be once again heavily relaint on the pacer to deliver wickets in crucial stages as he had so effortlessly being doing for MI ever since his debut in the IPL.
In 77 matches, he took 82 wickets at an average of 26.62 with an economy rate of 7.56. His best bowling performance in IPL is 3 for 7.
The 24-year old South African Speedster however, is yet to prove a point in IPL. But there is no doubt he is one of the best upcoming bowlers in the International circuit. The pacer is relatively new to IPL with only 7 matches to his name but he has picked up 68 wickets in the international level in the 31 matches. He is a truly capable and highly talented bowler and it’s no doubt CSK would be using him to full potential this time around. Ngidi has impressive figures of 4/10 in the IPL and has managed to pick up 11 wickets at an jaw-dropping strike-rate of 16 and economy of 6, his economy could be considered one of the best if he is to maintain it in the long run.
MS Dhoni vs Rohit Sharma
Dhoni and Rohit are the most successful captains in the history of the league, sharing seven titles between them. The players will once again be put to acid test when their teams lock horns in the IPL 2020 opening fixture.
While Rohit edges Dhoni having led Mumbai Indians to four IPL crowns, Dhoni has won three IPL trophies with Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, Dhoni remains ahead of his Mumbai Indians counterpart when it comes to most wins as captain in the history of the league. Dhoni is the first captain to win 100 IPL games.
Rohit has learned a lot about captaincy from Dhoni himself from playing under the former India captain for the Men in Blue and that they both bring calmness to the dressing room.
Rohit led Mumbai Indians to a thrilling one-run win over Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the final of IPL 2019 last year to go past the veteran wicket-keeper batsman as the most successful captain in the league.