With four victories on the trot, the Mumbai Indians (MI) are the team to beat, and table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to end their run at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
Mumbai Indians did not start the competition on a winning note, but they have looked a more dangerous unit of late, with all their players contributing in the batting as well as the bowling department.
Though, CSK put up an emphatic bowling performance to defeat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game, they have lost two of their three last matches.
Such a record should not be a problem for CSK, who have been the most successful team in the IPL, winning the title twice and finishing runners-up thrice. MS Dhoni and his men know the importance of each and every game, especially with the playoffs inching closer.
Here is a look at some players, who can change the course of the game with their heroics.
Chennai Super Kings
Brendon McCullum – Fireworks is what one can expect from the New Zealand skipper as the batsman has come up with insane performances, including the first century of IPL 2015. He does not need any time to settle down and goes on the attack from ball one. With a strike rate of 174, he is easily one of the most destructive players in this IPL. As an opener, he has given flying starts to the team and the middle order, which includes MS Dhoni and Faf Du Plessis, have taken full advantage.
Dwayne Bravo – The West Indian has been a great asset to CSK with the ball in his hand, as he has used his variations to full effect, especially during the slog overs. He is the joint second-highest wicket taker alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar in IPL 2015 with 16 wickets. Apart from his bowling heroics, he is one of the best fielders of the modern era and easily saves around 8-10 runs on an average every game. Not to forget his batting ability, Dhoni can count on the West Indian to score some important runs when asked to swing his willow towards the end of an innings.
Kieron Pollard – With 17 sixes to his name, the West Indian all-rounder has been mighty impressive with the bat, scoring quickfire runs during the final overs of the game, and also during the middle overs when the top order fail to last long enough at the batting crease. Pollard has used the long handle to good effect this IPL, as he has scored 259 runs at a strike rate of 167. With the willow in his hand, the 1.96m batsman is an imposing figure at the batting crease and hits sixes at will. When Pollard opens up his shoulders, even outside edges clears the fence. It is the brute strength of the man which scares bowlers in the IPL.
Harbhajan Singh – IPL 2015 has been a good campaign for Indian spinners such as Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra. Harbhajan Singh also falls in the same bracket with 11 wickets in the competition, at an average of just under 25. The Indian has been a crucial bowler for MI during the the middle overs. Apart from his bowling, the spinner is also capable of striking some huge blows with the bat. His eight sixes in IPL 2015 reflects the batting ability of the spinner.