The IPL resumes after four and a half months’ break induced by Covid, with the opening match seeing the tournament’s most winningest teams come face to face.
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians currently sit eighth on the points table, with four victories from seven matches. During the first leg, they had seemed a bit sluggish, not really firing on all cylinders, but their fans were still no perturbed considering the fact that they are serial winners and most often than not, they come alive come playoffs time.
Over the first seven matches, captain Rohit Sharma was Mumbai’s highest scorer, with 250 runs to his name. His output was only good enough for eighth position in the tournament’s scoring chart, with no other Mumbai batsman in the top 20. That explains their mid-table position in the standings.
Their bowling unit, however, has fared much better in comparison, with two of their bowlers – Rahul Chahar and Trent Boult – in top 10.
When the league went on a hiatus early in May, Mumbai had strung together a run of two victories – both impressive and the last one against the same opponents they face this Sunday: Chennai Super Kings, whom they had beaten in a high scoring last-ball thriller courtesy a Kieron Pollard special.
Chennai Super Kings
Three-time champions Chennai are second on the points table with 10 points to their name after seven matches. A victory over Mumbai on Sunday will most likely see them rise above Delhi Capitals and become the new league leaders.
CSK’s rise up the table was made possible courtesy a scintillating five-win run. After starting the 2021 IPL season with a defeat, the MS Dhoni-led side won five on the bounce before bring thwarted in their attempt to win a sixth by Mumbai in the aforementioned match.
Faf du Plessis was a major part of their good fortune. He is their highest scorer in the tournament, with 320 runs to his name – good enough for third place in the scoring chart.
Among the bowlers, Sam Curran and Deepak Chahar have been the standouts, with both featuring among top 10 wicket takers of the tournament.