A blockbuster match-up to resume IPL 2021: MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings take on Kieron Pollard's Mumbai Indians, in Dubai. Who'll kick off the UAE leg of this tournament on a high? Follow ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary here. And our Hindi coverage here.
Gaikwad, Bravo, Chahar do it for CSK
This is only the second time in the IPL that a team batting has lost four wickets for under 24 and then gone on to win the match. A win built on special knocks from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo followed a by a top opening spell from Deepak Chahar. CSK are back in the top two, which is the target because of the playoffs system. The biggest positive perhaps is possibly getting rid of the vice-like grip Mumbai have had over them in recent contests. It has been a superb resumption to the IPL. Join us tomorrow for more. Don't forget Virat Kohli doesn't have too many games left as IPL captain.
Hazlewood gets the big one
Josh Hazlewood is the only bowler tonight who has gone for runs in the Powerplay, conceding 26 in his two. However, one return, he produces a good ball, which seams back in a touch to trap Pollard plumb in front. Mumbai 90 for 5 in 14 overs. CSK all but home now.
Bravo to Pollard
It is always a contest to watch out for. Two Trini T20 greats going at each other. Here is their record against each other: 156 balls, 277 runs, out nine times. Pollard has been winning this contest, averaging over 30 and striking at around 170.
CSK all over MI
CSK have logged in two cheap overs from offspinner Moeen Ali against two left-hand batters, and then Dwayne Bravo has got the wicket of Ishan Kishan in the 10th over. Mumbai 62 for 4, looking at Pollard to repeat the heroics from the first match between these teams this IPL.
Deepak Chahar's reminder
When India announced their World Cup squad, the first missing name that came to mind was Deepak Chahar. The problem is, India seem to have bet on tired pitches and stacked their side with spinners. There is space for just one swing bowler/Powerplay specialists, and that spot has gone to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. One could argue Chahar has been better than Bhuvneshwar of late, but that is a judgement call that has been made.
Here, though, Chahar has shown why he is so highly regarded. He has gone from an out-of-the-hand swing bowler to a wily customer who swings it less, does so late, and is accurate and wily. Two Powerplay wickets for him again followed by Shardul Thakur getting one in the sixth over, Mumbai are 41 for 3 in six overs.
Have you seen this match before?
DC vs KXIP. Dubai's first match of last year's IPL. DC in the dumps at 13 for 3 and 96 for 6, but Marcus Stoinis goes wild to take them to 158. A fresh Dubai pitch at work: difficult upfront but a belter later. CSK have scored 156 here thanks to Gaikwad's 88 off 58 and Bravo's 23 off 8. It is one short of the score in the game last year. The result of that match last year? A tie.
Was the 19th over, in which Boult went for 24, his most expensive in T20 cricket. Ask Cricinfo
Gaikwad gets going
The last IPL was a disaster for CSK, not just with the results but also with their next big hope Ruturaj Gaikwad struggling. It all started with him getting Covid-19. This year, though, in his first match in the UAE, Gaikwad has kept CSK alive with a classy fifty. He is now 56 off 44, having gone after the spinners and now giving himself a chance against the returning quicks. CSK 98 for 4 in 16 overs.
In a sidelines chat with Star, Mahela Jayawardene has confirmed it was the injury from The Oval Test that has kept Rohit out. Jayawardene did add, though, that he was good to go, but they felt they should give him two more days to recover. That means India would almost certainly have had to look for another opener had the Old Trafford Test taken place. We still have no update on Hardik Pandya.
CSK 48 for 4 in 11 overs.
MI win the Powerplay
Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar are yet to bowl, and already MI have taken four wickets. Pollard continued with Boult and Milne through the Powerplay, and Milne capped it off with the wicket of MS Dhoni with the last ball of the Powerplay. It was a pull fairly well middled, but straight to deep backward square leg. CSK 24 for 4 in six overs.
Raina, blown away
It lasted an over, but it was painful to watch. Field set for the short ball, one bouncer, and then Raina's feet are stuck in (Indian) Cement and he swings wildly at full balls. One edge falls safe, but the second one takes a chip off the bat and a catch to backward point. CSK 7 for 3 in three overs
The Hundred benefits Mumbai
Before today, Adam Milne had played just six IPL matches, but during this English summer, Milne was the best fast bowler in The Hundred, and Mumbai have wasted no time in getting him into the playing XI. And in his first over, he has taken out, well, his captain at The Hundred, Moeen Ali. He has also retired-hurt Ambati Rayudu with a nasty short ball that has nipped back at him and got him on the forearm. CSk 3 for 2 in two overs with a man down
Go Ask Cricinfo who took the most wickets in the Powerplay last year in the 2020 IPL. The answer will tell you part of reason why MI were so dominant last year. Back in the UAE, Trent Boult has again picked up a wicket in his first over, sending back Faf du Plessis, caught at short third man. CSK 1 for 1 in the first over
Ten minutes to the start, and here is an important recap and how things change for these sides. From Gaurav Sundararaman
Squad changes from first phase In: Josh Hazlewood Out: Jason Behrendorff
Strengths If not for a Kieron Pollard blinder in Delhi, Chennai Super Kings would have been sitting on top of the table with six wins from seven matches. Having finished in the bottom half in 2020, MS Dhoni's team surprised everyone by shedding their usual conservative approach to batting. With an unmatched depth - Deepak Chahar slots in at No. 11 - Super Kings scored at a rate of 9.47 between overs 7 to 16. A lot of credit goes to the opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis who set strong foundations upon which the likes of Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja could build big totals. On the bowling front, Chahar and the spinners were the key playmakers.
2020 UAE strategy The UAE was not a happy hunting ground for Super Kings last season. Injuries, absentees and lack of practice meant they peaked too late. Hardly any of their moves worked because virtually everyone was out of form. This time around they have been practising for over a month and would look to keep faith in what has worked in IPL 2021 rather than going back to what worked in previous seasons.
Challenges for 2021 The form of their fast bowlers - Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur and Dwayne Bravo - will be crucial for the multiple-time champions to extend their good start. There will be pressure on Suresh Raina too, who has managed 123 runs in six innings at an average of 24 with a solitary half-century. If Raina can perk up the middle order with some impactful cameos, it will ease the burden on the finishers.
Squad changes from first phase No changes
Strengths Having won the trophy last year in the UAE, the defending champions will be a happy lot especially after enduring a difficult start in the first leg in Chennai, where the pitches were slow and low. Consequently, Mumbai's approach to batting was a conservative one. Although they started quickly in the powerplay, they had to work hard for the runs as the game progressed. Normalcy was restored when they shifted base to Delhi and Kieron Pollard blasted Super Kings to all parts to chase down a mammoth total.
2020 UAE strategy When Mumbai won the championship in 2020, they had clear plans. With the bat, they kept attacking all through the innings to maximise their resources. Pollard and Hardik Pandya played stellar roles in finishing the innings. But the role that James Pattinson played with the ball will need to be taken up by either Nathan Coulter-Nile or Adam Milne. They will be key in supporting Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah on the helpful pitches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Challenges for 2021 Ishan Kishan and Hardik's batting form will be in focus. The big question though is, will Hardik bowl? He didn't in the first phase of this edition, but India's chief selector Chetan Sharma recently declared Hardik was fit to bowl his quota of four overs during the World Cup. If he does so for Mumbai too, then that will lend great balance to a very well-stocked team. It will also help them be flexible with their fourth overseas player, something they struggled with during the first half of this IPL. In the UAE, one would expect them to field an extra fast bowler or fast-bowling allrounder for the fourth overseas slot.
Exactly a year after Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings kicked off the IPL in 2020, the teams are back to resume the suspended IPL in 2021.
Straight off the bat, we have big team news. Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya are not playing for Mumbai, who have been asked to chase today. We don't exactly know what's wrong with Rohit and Hardik, but Rohit did look in trouble with his knee in The Oval Test in the first week of September. Punjab batter Anmolpreet Singh is making his IPL debut. In other exciting news, the in-form Adam Milne is playing for Mumbai. He was sensational in The Hundred.
For Super Kings, Sam Curran is not available, but everyone else is. their four overseas players are Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo and Josh Hazlewood. It remains to be seen if and how much bravo bowls after he sustained a groin injury in the CPL.
Chennai Super Kings 1 F du Plessis, 2 RD Gaikwad, 3 MM Ali, 4 SK Raina, 5 AT Rayudu, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. &wk), 7 RA Jadeja, 8 DJ Bravo, 9 SN Thakur, 10 DL Chahar, 11 JR Hazlewood
Mumbai Indians 1 Q de Kock (wk), 2 Ishan Kishan, 3 Anmolpreet Singh, 4 SA Yadav, 5 SS Tiwary, 6 KH Pandya, 7 KA Pollard (capt.), 8 AF Milne, 9 RD Chahar, 10 JJ Bumrah, 11 TA Boult