If Ashwin bowls well with Morkel to restrict MI under 150, CSK have a chance in IPL qualifier 2: Dean Jones

The Bangalore pitch, I feel, will be to Chennai’s liking, so the ‘Eliminator’ may be slightly tipped in their favour, writes Dean Jones in The Times Of India. “Now, Mumbai have had a chequered past in the IPL playoffs. They have only one score above 150. Chennai tend to rely on R Ashwin, and if he bowls well along with Albie Morkel and restrict Mumbai to a score under 150, they have a chance,” writes Deano, adding that both Mumbai and Chennai have similar strengths and weaknesses.

“Their batting has been inconsistent and their bowling particularly good. In fact, Mumbai are the best in this department. Mumbai’s problem was finding an opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar. They tried James Franklin, they tried Herschelle Gibbs but wasn’t Dwayne Smith a perfect foil for the Little Master. The Top 4 batsmen, however, have not made enough runs. They seem to strike once in a while. Now, the Chennai also have four major issues. Only Faf du Plessis can stand up and speak for himself. Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and Dhoni have to try harder if their team is to progress. They must also make Morkel bat when there are five overs to go,” adds the Australian.

Meanwhile Indian Express writes that if it was sheer luck that Chennai have managed to sneak past the league stage for the fifth successive time, MS Dhoni will hope some of it rubs on to his batting as well. “Even within Chennai’s misfiring batting line-up, Dhoni’s lack of numbers seems conspicuous. His 269 runs have come at an average of 24.45 and strike rate of 112.55, a huge climbdown from his overall IPL figures (36.04, 133.7). Also, his inability to find the boundary so late in the innings has surely affected CSK’s fortunes,” writes the paper, adding that Dhoni’s plodding ways have also kept the other big hitters back until too late.

“Albie Morkel and Ravindra Jadeja have played 29 matches put together this season, but have faced just 216 balls in total — the equivalent of seven deliveries each per match, on average. The captain has had more time at the crease, but is yet to make efficient use of it so far — fashioning just around one-third of his runs in boundaries this season.”

According to a DNA report, Chennai Super Kings seem to be riding on skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s luck. “When they take on Mumbai Indians in the eliminator on Wednesday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, they will hope to get third time lucky against a team that has beaten them in both their league games this season.Chennai and Mumbai have qualified for the playoffs in contrasting fashion. It was Deccan Chargers’s wins in the last two games that helped Chennai Super Kings pip Royal Challengers Bangalore for the last playoff spot. On the other hand, Mumbai reached the last-four in style with a 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals,” says the paper adding that going by form book, Mumbai are the favourites.

“Moreover, they have never lost any IPL game in Bangalore and will certainly want to keep the record clean. The team is also high on confidence after their emphatic victory in Jaipur. There’s nothing like the potion of self-belief in an eliminator.”