Mumbai is a city of hopes for millions of Indians and even foreigners. From Kings to Paupers, everyone wants to live another day there. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will be no exception. Alas!! Only one can survive another day at Mumbai. The eliminator has defending champion Mumbai Indians contesting at home against the King of IPL, Chennai Super Kings. CSK has reached the Playoff easily, while MI has somehow managed to sneak in, but with amazing display of winning run. They are the top two teams of IPL, but only one can survive. Unless MI is exhausted after its miraculous chase against RR, CSK may fail to reach final only for the 2nd time in IPL, after 2009.
14 Points vs History
With 14 points at Group Stage, Deccan Chargers (in 2009) and Chennai Super Kings (in 2010) are the only two teams to have emerged the IPL winner. RCB (in 2010) is another team to have reached the Semifinal despite earning only 14 points. Mumbai Indians are now the 4th team to reach Playoff despite earning only 14 points. They earned 14 points in 2008 also but finished 5th, a point less than DD, who also failed to reach the playoff in 2010 after finishing 5th with lesser NRR than CSK and RCB.
Historically, a team that has reached all the semifinals of 7 IPLs, reached the finals of 5 of the 6 finals played so far, is always threatening. CSK of 2014 is no different, who finished third with 18 points, but has reached the Playoff very easily.
Head-to-Head Record: CSK 9, MI 8
CSK def MI by 6 runs
MI def CSK by 9 Wickets
MI def CSK by 19 runs
CSK def MI by 7 Wickets
MI def CSK by 5 Wickets
CSK def MI by 24 Rruns
CSK def MI by 22 Runs
2011: Mumbai Indians def Chennai Super Kings by 8 runs, MOM: Harbhajan
- MI won by 8 wkts, MoM: Richard Levi
MI won by 2 wickets, MOM: Dwayn Smith
Eliminator: CSK won by 38 runs, MOM: Dhoni
- MI def CSK by 9 runs, MOM: Pollard
MI won by 60 runs, MOM: Johnson
Qualifier: CSK def MI by 48 runs, MOM: Michael Hussey
Final: MI def CSK by 23 runs, MOM: Pollard
- CSK won by 7 wickets, MOM: Mohit Sharma (4/14)
CSK won by 4 wickets, MOM: Dwayn Smith (51-ball 57 runs)
Group Stage Performances in All Editions
- 2008: CSK 9 wins, 7 losses. MI 7 wins, 7 losses.
2009: CSK 8 wins, 6 losses. MI 5 wins, 8 losses.
2010: CSK 9 wins, 7 losses. MI 11 wins, 5 losses.
2011: CSK 11 wins, 5 losses. MI 10 wins, 6 losses.
2012: CSK 10 wins, 8 losses. MI 10 wins, 7 losses.
2013: CSK 9 wins, 2 losses. MI 6 wins, 4 losses.
2014: CSK 9 wins, 7 losses. MI 7 wins, 7 losses.
Journey so Far in 2014
CSK has their regular routine entry to the Playoffs where they won 4 of the 5 matches played at UAE and then despite being stuck at 16 points for a while, they won their last match to win 9 matches at Group Stage.
Mumbai Indians had a fairytale journey so far. First they created an IPL record becoming the first team to lose all the first five matches, when they played at UAE. Come home and their fate changed. Still people were wondering what is wrong with the defending champion as they were not consistent. But as other top contenders such as RR kept losing, MI won their last 4 games and that too played a virtual quarterfinal against RR to become the second defending champion after CSK to enter the semifinals.
CSK initially appeared second best team after Kings XI. Their openers Dwayn Smith (ex-MI opener) and Brendum McCullum created great partnerships and CSK kept winning more than what they lost. Even Raina, Dhoni, Faf du Plessis joined the party. When the batting failed bowlers contributed. Mohit Sharma is one of the top three wicket taker of the tournament. Even Ashwin and Jadeja had been successful. But, overall their bowlers went for runs. Almost every team was able to hit freely.
Mumbai Indians on the other hand were in tatters. Except Pollard none showed their quality in the beginning. Zaheer, Malinga and Harbhajan tried their best, but the batsmen were failing miserably. Introduction of Simmons, re-entry of Michael Hussey, return to form of Rohit Sharma, and then handy contribution from Pollard got them back to the race and their last match saw them achieve the unexpected.
The X Factors in Batting
Mumbai Indians were known to have one of the best batting attack. Their virtual quarterfinal saw they were not only paper tigers. All of them performed through the skin of their teeth. For the first time all of them played in the same mode: attack. Anderson (245 runs), Rohit Sharma (370 runs), Simmons (327 runs in 7 innings) and Michael Hussey (170 runs) are their key batsmen, besides the hitter Pollard (259 runs). Even Rayudu (359 runs) finally showed why he was retained in the strong MI team.
CSK on the other hand is full of performers. The openers Dwayn Smith (535 runs) and McCullum (380 runs) are on fire. Raina (382 runs), Dhoni (329 runs), Faf du Plessis (268 runs) and now David Hussey (75 runs in 2 innings) are also winning them matches.
Simmons is already the only centurion of the current IPL.
The X Factors in Bowling
MIs main bowler Malinga (16 wickets) is out of the tournament. Harbhajan (12 wickets) is their 2nd best bowler and has a decent economy rate (6.45) also. Praveen Kumar’s economy is the best for them so far. But he has bowled only in 2 matches. Rest of the bowlers have failed to make an impression with wickets or economy rate. Even Ojha (3 wickets in 43 overs) has been disappointing. Bumrah (5 wickets) apppears a better bet than Pollard and Anderson. Yet, they do not have match winning bowlers.
CSK has one-time Purple Cap holder, Mohit Sharma (19 wickets), Jadeja (17 wickets) and Ashwin (14 wickets). But their concern is the economy rate of bowlers. Their most economic bowler is Badree (6.92 in 14 overs). They know the reason why the opposition is scoring high against them, despite being a good fielding side. Ishwar Pandey, Ashish Nehra, Hilfenhaus have failed to contain the runs.
Who Will Win
Bowling is weak for both, but MI bowlers are comparatively better in economy rate even though they have taken less number of wickets. Bowling is a concern for both team, and if MIs last match form can continue, the top 6 batsmen of both teams are in form. With CSK bowling already under tremendous pressure, MI batsmen can continue the swansong as they are in flow and overall appear better hitters. By the time they will start playing, the winner of their match will know whom they will be playing as Kolkata would have distributed tickets to Bangalore and Mumbai by then.