Unlike the previous Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons, the ongoing IPL 2022 is different for both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The tournament biggies, who have dominated the IPL since its inception in 2008, are having their worst ever seasons this year with just a single win in combined 12 games.
On Thursday, both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will face each other in IPL’s own ‘El Clasico’ with the sole aim to bring their campaigns back on track. Mumbai Indians, led by India captain Rohit Sharma, have lost all their six games so far, while CSK registered just a win in six games.
Mumbai Indians have been in a similar kind of position before. In 2014, MI lost their first five games but still made the knockouts. A slip-up against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday may well end their campaign in IPL 2022.
On the other hand, a loss for CSK will further complicate their chances of qualifying for the knockouts. CSK’s worst IPL campaign came in 2022 when they lost six games out of 14 matches.
The IPL 2022 points table is being ruled by debutants Gujarat Titans who have 10 points from six games followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rajasthan Royals and another debutant Lucknow Super Giants complete the top four.
What’s Ailing MI And CSK?
Starting from the auction table to their on-field performances, Mumbai Indians got themselves to blame for their position in the ongoing IPL 2022. They bought highly-rated Tim David for a whopping INR 8.25 crore only to make the Singaporean warm the benches despite being in tremendous form in the Pakistan Super League 2022.
David has featured in just two out of six games this year. Mumbai Indians’ other big mistake was to retain West Indian Kieron Pollard, despite knowing he has been out of form in T20s for a long time. Pollard, who retired from international cricket on Wednesday, has scored just 81 runs from six games.
MI’s biggest blunder, or rather an egoistic approach was to shell out INR 8 crore for Jofra Archer despite knowing the England pacer won’t be available for IPL 2022 due to injury. Sensible planning would have got MI a few match-winners within Archer’s price tag.
For Chennai Super Kings, their biggest mistake was to release former South African captain Faf du Plessis ahead of the mega auction. MS Dhoni passing on the captaincy baton to Ravindra Jadeja also didn’t work out as they had planned.
With Jadeja revealing that MS Dhoni had hinted last season that he wanted to quit the captaincy, a sensible discussion would have made the franchise not release Du Plessis. The South African was the second-best run-getter last season and was perfect for leading the team as well as setting a platform at the top.
Du Plessis is currently leading Royal Challengers Bangalore who have won five times out of seven games. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings combine for nine IPL titles out of 14 seasons played so far.
What Are MI And CSK’s Qualification Chances?
The easiest and simplest answer to this question is to win all the games left. Languishing at the bottom of the table with zero wins, Rohit Sharma and Co. needs to ensure they win all their remaining eight games by healthy margins to move up the ladder and qualify for the knockouts.
Should Mumbai Indians win all their eight games, 16 points would be enough in a 10-team IPL to crawl into the top four. The last time IPL had 10 teams was in 2011 with each side playing 14 games and the fourth team to qualify for the knockouts had 16 points.
The situation is quite similar for Chennai Super Kings too. CSK hold the ninth position in IPL 2022 points table with just a win from six games and need to ensure they get over the line in all their remaining eight games.