Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, will be desperate for a victory when they take on former champs the Chennai Super Kings in what promises to be a thrilling IPL 2014 encounter in Dubai on Friday.
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The game is scheduled for an 6.30 pm local time (8 pm IST, 3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Max in Hindi and Sony Six in English. Catch the action via live streaming online in India HERE or HERE. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action on OSN and with the link HERE. Rest of the world can catch the IPL action HERE, HERE or through the GoCricket apps.
Viewers in the US can live stream the action HERE, while audience in Canada can do the same HERE. New Zealand viewers can do the same through Sky NZ HERE. Viewers in the UK can catch the action live on ITV, while Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will have TV coverage via Geo Super, Maasaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively.
MI have been woeful in their first two games this season, never really putting up a fight against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their opener, before failing with the bat miserably for a second straight game against RCB.
This would not have been the kind of start that the Mumbai Indians, who won the IPL last season so wonderfully well, would have envisaged, and the match against CSK, a must-win one in terms of building some kind of momentum, could not have come at a more crucial time.
CSK have been quite impressive in their three matches, losing the first to the Kings XI Punjab thanks largely to a Glenn Maxwell assault, while thumping the Delhi Daredevils in their second, before holding their nerves against the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.
MI need to find some batting powers quickly to turn around their fortunes and that might begin with Rohit Sharma opening the batting. The decision to use Aditya Tare at the top of the order, along with Michael Hussey, has not quite worked out, and Rohit, the skipper, will do well to take some more responsibility and push himself up the order to form a formidable opening partnership with the Australian.
Hussey has been vital to CSK's fortunes over the last several seasons, and it will be extremely interesting to see just how the veteran performs against the side he enjoyed so much success with.
Hussey will be up against a CSK fast bowling lineup which has been quite impressive this IPL 2014, with Ben Hilfenhaus, Mohit Sharma and the impressive Ishwar Pandey keeping the batsmen on their toes. With R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja also there to tweak the ball when needed, the Super Kings have a formidable bowling unit.
In batting, of course, they have the power and aggressiveness of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith at the top with Faf Du Plessis, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni to come in and tonk the bowlers in the latter overs, even if the depth, as Dhoni himself pointed out, is not as obvious as the CSK teams of the past.
The Mumbai Indians have not really excelled in any department this season, and it is essential for the senior players in the squad, and there are plenty of them, to step up and be counted to ensure they pick up their first win of IPL 7, otherwise it could be a walk in the park for the Super Kings.