Mumbai Indians are set to play against the Chennai Super Kings in Match 49 of the IPL 2023. Since both teams are in contention to reach the playoffs, the cricket match will undoubtedly be feisty.
While CSK has lost two of its three previous games, MI will enter the game with confidence. Mumbai recently defeated Punjab after chasing a massive total of 215 in only 18.5 overs.
Unlike previous seasons, MI has not looked sharp in the batting department, barring occasional performances by Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Tilak Varma. Despite starting this IPL on a slow note, it seems like the team is picking up pace.
Their recent win against PBKS also stemmed from their strong batting performance. While PBKS is not known for its strong bowling, chasing down 215 is only possible with a robust performance. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav delivered this to keep MI relevant in IPL 2023.
The left-handed opener scored 75 off 41 balls to give MI a flying start. Kishan’s contribution helped Suryakumar Yadav to play freely and hit a quick 66 off 31 balls to help MI reach 216 in 18.5 overs. With CSK boasting one of the most balanced squads in IPL 2023, MI will certainly expect Ishan Kishan to replicate the match-winning performance.
Kishan expected to deliver a solid start to MI
Despite being one of the most capable openers in cricket history, Rohit Sharma has been on a dry spell for a while now. It has been over 22 innings since the player scored a half-century for MI.
With the captain in disarray, MI is counting on the 25-year-old Ishan Kishan to help Mumbai off a flyer. Known for giving an explosive start, Kishan can hit boundaries against every pacer in the tournament.
The player can clear most cricket grounds despite his small stature and has also shown his prowess on the leg side this year. Kishan has also been hitting spinners in IPL 2023, as opposed to his previous lackluster performances against leg spinners.
CSK ready to exploit MI’s inconsistent batting lineup
Although IPL 2023 has witnessed most teams completely reforming, CSK has managed to create a well-rounded team from scratch. Conway and Ruturaj are contending for the Orange Cap, while the team has all-rounders like Jadeja and Moeen in the pocket.
However, unlike most teams in this IPL, CSK has also proven its worth with a robust bowling lineup. Despite losing one match to rain, Tushar Deshpande is leading CSK in bowling with 17 wickets. The bowler is tied with Shami, who has also taken 17 wickets in the IPL 2023.
Tushar has been aptly supported by Ravindra Jadeja, who rules the game in the middle overs. The major problem in CSK’s bowling lies in the opening spells. The team lacks a quickie like Siraj or Shami who can pressure the batters while taking wickets.
With deliveries that exceed 150 kph and yorkers, Matheesha Pathirana, a bowler who takes inspiration from Malinga, has shown promise. However, the player’s lack of experience is evident in crucial situations. Similarly, CSK has struggled in the absence of a genuine turn bowler.
Thus, the MI squad can amass quick runs during the start and tail ends of the game to pressurize CSK.
Kishan leading MI with an example in IPL 2023
It goes without saying that no Mumbai Indians batter has done anything special in the IPL 2023. Every MI batter has struggled to score consistently, as shown in this tally. The best player on the team is currently Ishan Kishan, with 286 runs, compared to Faf du Plessis, with 466 runs.
However, the player has proven his worth as a match-winner multiple times. The player scored over 400 runs in IPL 2022 but has failed to match the performance barring one inning against PBKS.
It seems like the player has swapped consistency for quick hitting. Ishan had an average of 32 in IPL 2022 with a strike rate of 120. While this year the player has a strike rate of 139, he has failed to make an impact in most games.
Even then, Kishan is a popular pick among fantasy players on top cricket betting sites. Since the player opens the inning, he has a chance to score runs. In addition, Kishan is also a wicket-keeper, meaning the player can get points for stumping and behind-the-wicket catches.
Kishan’s performance against CSK
Ishan Kishan has scored 2,156 runs in the IPL till now. Out of this, the player scored only 208 runs against CSK in 160 balls. The left-hander has a strike rate of 130 against CSK, with only 7 sixes and 21 boundaries.
With MI’s team composition in disarray, Kishan might face immense pressure against CSK. Chennai will try to use its home-field advantage to put pressure on the openers. At the same time, the Chennai pitch is known for favoring spinners, while Kishan has been struggling against them.
In his current form, Kishan should try to play conservatively against spinners while targeting the pacers throughout the game.
However, CSK must try inserting spin early to disturb MI’s rhythm. Kishan has an average of 30.89 against spinners in the IPL with a strike rate of 127. In addition, spinners have dismissed the left-hander 29 times. Source
The player has talked about struggling against spin because of the game’s evolving nature. Source
Thus, on a spin-favoring pitch, it is unlikely that MSD will allow Kishan to survive long enough to replicate the match-winning performance.
With five matches remaining for MI in IPL 2023, the team has to win most of them to qualify for the playoffs. That is why their cricket match against CSK will be crucial for the team.
CSK has maintained its status as a well-rounded team even in this IPL, which can pose issues in front of a struggling MI squad. Mumbai will rely on its openers, Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma, to perform against CSK.
Moreover, Kishan will be a key player during the game, coming off a match-winning half-century against the PBKS. The opener is currently leading Mumbai with the most runs scored in IPL 2023. So if CSK manages to get the player out quickly, MI will be in huge trouble.
However, Kishan will find it challenging to replicate a match-winning performance due to CSK’s bowling attack and pitch conditions. The Chennai pitch’s support for spinners might become the reason behind Kishan’s dismissal in Match 49 as well.