Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings in what can be safely dubbed as IPL's own version of 'El Classico' in the first playoff at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Mumbai have already got the better of CSK in the two league games this season, but CSK and Dhoni have the temperament to get cracking when the knockouts begin.
The sides picked for this match will be greatly dependent on the nature of surface and hence, both captains need to be astute while choosing players.
Predicted XI of both sides:
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Dhruv Shorey, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Fantasy tips and suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: The form and presence of Quinton de Kock at the top of the order has been brilliant for Mumbai Indians this season and he will once again hold the key in this qualifier 1. However, he has to be wary against the off-spin of Harbhajan Singh.
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma found form in the last match against Kolkata Knight Riders and should be in the side. Also, Evin Lewis can be a dangerous pick, especially if he gets going against the CSK spinners.
For the Dhoni-led side, Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina have been the men in form and in this crunch match, they have to once again stand up and be counted. Both these players have the game to combat the highly-skilled Mumbai Indians bowling attack and they need to set the tone up front.
All-rounders: Look no further than Hardik Pandya, who has been absolutely sensational this year. His hitting abilities have been superb and he will also enjoy the sticky nature of the Chennai wicket as his cutters will find assistance. For CSK, Dwayne Bravo needs to do better, especially at the death and also with the bat.
Spinners: Imran Tahir has been MS Dhoni's go to guy this season and he has never disappointed. Once again, on a pitch which has offered him assistance, he will be the man responsible for not only keeping things tight, but also for picking up wickets.
Also, young Rahul Chahar has been a great addition to this Mumbai Indians side and he has been impressive with his control and variations. It will be a faceoff between the two leggies!
Seamers: Jasprit Bumrah has been phenomenal for Mumbai this season and will be the man to be wary of for Chennai Super Kings. His performance in the death overs has been nothing short of sensational and he will be the bowler to get the job done for Rohit Sharma.
Deepak Chahar for CSK has been consistent with the new ball in powerplay overs. He invariably picks up a wicket, which will be priceless against the Mumbai Indians.