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Winless Mumbai brace for high-flying Super Kings

Match facts
Friday, April 17, 2015
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Big picture
Last season, Mumbai Indians sneaked into the playoffs despite losing their first five matches. It's no template for success, but they seem to have taken it to heart, going by the way they have begun their 2015 season. They are still winless on the eve of their fourth match, against a Chennai Super Kings side energised by two wins in two games and refreshed by a five-day break.
Mumbai's top order has stuttered in each of their three matches so far, and the changes they made in their last game - bringing in Parthiv Patel and Unmukt Chand for Aditya Tare and Ambati Rayudu, and moving Rohit Sharma down the order - didn't pay immediate dividend. They have no way of telling yet if they should stick with their new plan or abandon it, although they will have to make one enforced change, with Aaron Finch out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. Lendl Simmons, one of their successes in 2014, is the most likely candidate to replace him.
Super Kings will be playing their first match on the road, but there doesn't seem any need for them to change anything just yet. They have a settled squad, a settled XI within that squad, and pretty much everyone knows their roles. In that lies an opportunity for Mumbai, though it's hard to tell if they will have had any time to think about their opponents amid all the troubleshooting they will have had to do by the time the match rolls around.
Watch out for…
Unmukt Chand has played for three IPL franchises and has made a total of 210 runs in 15 innings, at an average of 14 and a strike rate of 91.30. Those are ordinary numbers for someone who usually bats in the top three, and especially for someone who seemed on the verge of a big leap when he captained India to an Under-19 World Cup win in 2012. He made 12 off 17 balls on his Mumbai debut against Rajasthan Royals, and will need to put in better performances to ensure he'll get more opportunities to display his talent.
He had a quiet time with the bat in Super Kings' first couple of games, and that might just mean Suresh Raina, the IPL's highest run-getter, is due for a significant innings. Raina hasn't spent enough time in the middle to say whether he's been in form or not - he was out for 4 against Delhi Daredevils, playing a wild slog, and was run out for 14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad - and might want to take a couple of overs to get his eye in before trying anything outlandish.
Stats and trivia
  • Mumbai have been Super Kings' least favourite opponents in the IPL. They have a 9-9 record in 18 meetings. Super Kings have better win-loss ratios against every other IPL team
  • Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga - all Mumbai players - are the three leading wicket-takers in the IPL against Super Kings

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