Score runs heavily, or not so much, the Chennai Super Kings have found a way to win at home, time and again, in IPL 2015. Mumbai Indians, desperate for a win to keep themselves on course for a playoff place will be the latest team trying to crack the CSK-at-home code when the two sides meet at the Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
CSK are well on their way to topping the points table of IPL 2015, having already picked up seven wins in ten matches., with five of those coming at home. A couple more wins should ensure top place this season, but knowing CSK, they will probably look to win all four of their remaining matches.
The win in their last match, over RCB, was a case in point of just how good they are at home, with the Super Kings defending a lowish total of 148 against the powerful Royal Challengers Bangalore lineup.
Yes, that RCB team was without Chris Gayle, but with Kohli and AB De Villiers leading the batting, they would have still fancied themselves to cruise home. However, CSK, who also defended 134 against another formidable batting side in KKR, know how to defend totals, be that small or big, and with their fielding on another level at the moment, any side with ambitions of winning in Chennai, will need to produce outstanding performances with bat, ball and in the field.
If there is any team capable of stopping the CSK juggernaut at home, it just might be MI at the moment, with Rohit Sharma's side on a brilliant four-match winning run. Whenever they have their backs to the wall, MI seem to find their best form, and they will need to be at their best to get the better of CSK on Friday.
"They [CSK] have had a good run at home but this is a fresh game and a new start," MI wicketkeeper/batsman Parthiv Patel said. "Just because they have won all their games here it doesn't guarantee them a win.
"For us, preparing well is important and that is what we have been doing."
The Mumbai Indians, though, will be seriously hampered by the fact that they will take the field against CSK without their best bowler in Lasith Malinga, owing to a ban on Sri Lankan players playing in the state. Malinga, after a slow start, has come into his own in IPL 2015, and MI will need to find a potent-enough replacement for the Sri Lankan.
Marchant De Lange and Ben Hilfenhaus, a former CSK player, are the like-for-like options, and both bowlers are capable of filling in Malinga's shoes for one match, at least.
CSK also have their injury worries, with R Ashwin still recovering from the cut on his finger. The off-spinner has missed the last three matches owing to the injury, and CSK coach Stephen Fleming is hopeful the India international can return for this marquee IPL 2015 clash.
"We will check out today [Thursday] how he is and take a call tomorrow [Friday]," Fleming said. "The positive part is that the cut is not on the main finger with which he spins the ball and that gives us hope."
Where to Watch Live
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CSK vs MI live coverage in India will be on Sony Six, Sony Kix, Sony Aath and Sony Max, with the IPL 2015 Match set to begin at 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET). Viewers in India also have the option of catching the match via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.
Audience in the UK and Europe can go to Sky Sports2 to watch Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, while the option to live stream is on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. ESPN is the channel to watch for viewers in the US, while the IPL action can also be watched online on ESPN Cricket. The IPL 2015 Match 43 can also be live streamed by viewers across the world on Cricketgateway.com.