Mumbai face tough challenge against formidable Chennai

Mumbai face tough challenge against formidable Chennai
Off to a disastrous start with three successive defeats, Mumbai Indians will have their task cut out when they lock horns with two-time title winners and in-form Chennai Super Kings in their IPL-8 match on Friday.

The home team, which has lost all three matches it played so far to remain the only side without a point in the ongoing eighth edition of the cash-rich event, are under a lot of pressure to turn things
around quickly.

Back-to-back defeats to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals have left Mumbai Indians gasping for survival. But with the round robin stage still at its infancy, the 2013 champions can take heart from the fact that they had bounced back last year also
after losing five games initially in the UAE leg of IPL-7.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, at least, thinks so and said as much on the sidelines of  a promotional event on Wednesday. “Our preparations are very good, but we are unable to execute our plans fully. Even the last time we were in a similar situation, but we came back well,” said Sharma. In the first three games, MI failed to get off to a good start either in batting or bowling and those would be areas that need amends. To add to the team’s woes, Australia’s Aaron Finch is set to miss the rest of the IPL due to a damaged hamstring, sustained in the last game against the Royals in Ahmedabad.

Lendl Simmons, who has warmed the bench so far, appears to be the front runner to take Finch’s place in the eleven. On the other hand, CSK are riding high after successive wins at home against Delhi Daredevils, albeit by one run in a thriller, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Skipper MS Dhoni showed how dangerous he can be in the second game when he promoted himself up the order to smash a 29-ball 53 and help CSK post a total in excess of 200.

With the core of the side unchanged over the years, CSK have a good all-round team, which has the presence of the crafty Ashish Nehra to bowl the new ball.


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