Two of the IPL heavyweights – the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings – lock horns in IPL 2015 at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
One team has not lost a single match in this IPL 2015 season, while the other is yet to taste a win. So, when it comes to that winless team – the Mumbai Indians – a victory in front of their own crowd will be paramount if they are to avoid the kind of desperate situation they found themselves in last season.
In all three of their matches in IPL 2015, MI have not found their batting groove, while their bowling has been on the inconsistent side as well.
When the batting fails consistently, it becomes difficult for the bowling unit, any bowling unit, to churn out victories, and in each of their first three games there has been some sort of a top order batting collapse.
A batting collapse means an inevitable innings rebuild, and with that rebuild the momentum is lost and by the time you get it back the total just isn't big enough to defend.
So, the message for the Mumbai Indians, heading into this crucial match against CSK, will be clear – get runs, and plenty of them at that, at the top.
"While batting, in the first six overs we need to bat better" said MI captain Rohit Sharma. "We are losing a few wickets in the first six overs, so our focus is to bat well in the first six overs.
"Despite batting so poorly in the first six overs we have managed to post around the 160-run mark in the three matches. So that is an area of concern and we have looked to address the issue.
"Obviously, when you lose a match it is because you play poorly in all the departments. So we need to focus on how we can do better."
Easier said than done, of course, especially against a formidable side like CSK, who has waltzed their way to two wins, albeit both of them at home.
MS Dhoni's side already looks as settled as possible in a new season, and with Brendon McCullum coming off a stunning hundred against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the MI bowlers will find their throats closing up that wee bit more when running into bowl to the New Zealand marauder.
The bowling also looks reasonably settled for CSL, with three India pacers – Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey – and two India spinners – R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, even if he hasn't bowled much in IPL 2015 – forming the crux of the lineup.
With Dwayne Bravo also at his disposal, Dhoni has plenty of resources in his bowling as well, which, with the CSK batting looking in tip-top shape, is an ominous sign for the rest of the teams in IPL 2015.
Two things might work against CSK in this match against the Mumbai Indians, however. One, they are playing their first game away from home this season and it will be interesting to see how they come, and two, they are playing their first game in six days, so that extended rest might actually work against them, as the momentum from that terrific McCullum hundred and Dhoni half-century has waned a little.
"There is a realism that it's going to be tough and given the start that Mumbai Indian's have had, it is going to be tougher," said CSK coach Stephen Fleming. "So we come here, some might say as underdogs -- the New Zealand way -- but we know that we really have to play well and not show any complacency or any over confidence. It will be a really hard fought game."
CSK, of course, will be far from the underdogs, and the Mumbai Indians will know that as well. The home team will need to be at their 100 percent best with both bat and ball if they are to stop Dhoni's men from notching their third win in as many games in IPL 2015.
Team news: Mumbai Indians: Aaron Finch has been ruled out of the entire IPL, which should mean a chance at the top for Lendl Simmons. Simmons was one of the catalysts behind MI's late run into the playoffs last season, and it was a bit of a surprise to see him benched in the first three games. Rohit Sharma also said he would continue to bat at No.4 after opening the innings, initially, while the skipper will also hope to have Harbhajan Singh back in the team after the offspinner missed the loss to the Rajasthan Royals through injury.
Chennai Super Kings: Chopping and changing come to the fore only when the team is struggling, and with CSK winning both of their games, Dhoni should go with the same XI, barring any late injury.
Where to Watch Live
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MI vs CSK is set for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Kix and Sony Aath. Viewers in India can also live stream the match online on Hotstar and the Starsports website.
The IPL 2015 match can be watched live in the UK and Europe on Sky Sports or via live streaming online on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Catch the match live in the US on ESPN, while all the IPL 2015 action can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket.
Viewers around the world can catch Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings Live on Cricketgateway.com.