Four months after it was forced to stop for Covid-19, the Indian Premier League resumes on Sunday in a different country. For the second season in succession the remainder of the season will be played out in the UAE with the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians getting the campaign back underway in Dubai.
The Super Kings pick up the season in second place in the table while the Mumbai Indians will continue their title defence from fourth position in the standings. These are the two most successful franchises in the history of the IPL so it is a great way to resume the competition.
Chennai Super Kings
Back when this tournament was in India, the Chennai Super Kings were surprising many with their form. I say that because home venues weren’t being used then and this Chennai squad at the time was kitted out for the challenges of the low and slow Chennai tracks. It might be that the longer this season runs now the more familiar conditions will be for them, but as with a lot of the franchises, the men in yellow have been forced into squad changes.
One of the issues people had with this Chennai team was the experience that was in it. Clearly experience is no bad thing but there are a number of players in this side who are in the twilight of their careers if not ventured into the darkness of it. That proved costly last season but doesn’t appear to have been a problem so far this term. Whether those aging bodies can pick up where they left off remains to be seen.
All eyes will be on the Mumbai Indians in this match. We know their start off slowly and build to peak at the end philosophy works because since the IPL stalled their coach Mahela Jayawardene has been and led the Southern Brave to The Hundred title in much the same fashion. What they can’t afford to do is restart slowly because there aren’t as many matches to build up a head of steam and this table is pretty tight.
In the main, Mumbai have managed to keep the majority of their first team intact and actually when you consider Adam Milne has joined for the remainder of the competition there is an argument that suggests they could be even stronger than they were prior to the delay. The only concern you would have over the Mumbai outfit is that they are such poor starters. The flip side of that is the majority of their squad have been active recently even if it was in red ball cricket.
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Moeen Ali had an excellent tournament in The Hundred and he’ll be looking to kick off where he finished in the IPL. He has been one of the best players for the Chennai Super Kings and should get to see plenty of action in this match.
Quinton de Kock also had a terrific tournament in The Hundred and he’ll be motivated to carry on that form into the remainder of the IPL campaign. While Rohit Sharma plays himself in de Kock can get after the bowlers.
I think these two sides might take a game to get up to speed here. Chennai are missing a couple of players who haven’t come through quarantine yet anyway and the same can be said of the Mumbai Indians, although to be fair to Mumbai their starting XI doesn’t look like being as affected as the Super Kings one is. This Dubai track isn’t the best for batting at the best of times and the early matches here last season weren’t particularly high scoring.
That makes me think that the 329.5 run line is a little on the high side here. There is an element of both these sides either a batsman light in their line up or a couple of those who are playing haven’t played much cricket in recent time which could be significant. These are two of the better bowling attacks in the competition and while I wouldn’t necessarily put anyone off backing Chennai Super Kings on the basis that Mumbai Indians are notorious terrible starters, I do think under 329.5 runs is the safer bet.
Back Under 329.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway