The league stage of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) is over and the stage is now all set for the playoffs, with defending champions Chennai taking on Mumbai in the first qualifier at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
Both teams have nine wins from 14 games they played during the round-robin stage, but Mumbai finished at the numero-uno spot in the eight-team point table due to a higher run-rate.
While Mumbai registered a crushing nine-wicket victory over Kolkata in their last league match at the Wankhede Stadium, Chennai dashed their hopes of making a top-place finish in the league stage with a six-wicket defeat against Punjab.
Three-time IPL champion, however, will look to bank on home advantage when they face the Rohit Sharma-led side.
Let us have a look at some of the players to watch out for in the Qualifier 1:
1) Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Skipper MS Dhoni is the highest run-getter for Chennai in the ongoing edition of the IPL despite missing a couple of games due to back spasms and illness. The wicketkeeper-batsman has notched up a total of 368 runs, including three half-centuries, in nine innings he played at a strike rate of 139.92. Dhoni will look to continue his good form with the bat and guide his side to the historic 4th title.
2) Faf du Plessis
Swashbuckling South African batsman Faf du Plessis smashed a blistering knock of 97 runs to guide Chennai to a mammoth total of 170 for five in their last league match against Punjab. However, his sensational knock failed to inspire his side to victory. With 314 runs from nine innings he played so far, Plessis will now look to replicate good show against Mumbai at Chepauk.
3) Quinton de Kock
Mumbai batsman Quinton de Kock made a poor start to the 2019 season, but he bounced back strongly and came up with some good performances with the bat to rise to the top of batting charts for Mumbai. He has notched up a total of 492 runs from 14 matches he played at an average of 37.84 to stand at the fourth position overall.
4) Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is the highest wicket-taker for Mumbai in the ongoing edition of the 2019 IPL. He has picked up 17 wickets from 14 innings he has played so far at an economy rate of 6.78. Overall, the Indian pacer stands at the sixth spot in the Purple Cap table and had been successful in dismissing Dhoni three times.
5) Rohit Sharma
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma kicked off his campaign in the ongoing season slowly, but he picked up the form by scoring a couple of half-centuries towards the end of the group stage. In the last league clash against Kolkata, Rohit led from the front, scoring 48-ball 55 to help his side chase the 134-run target in just 16.1 overs. He will once again be the main man for Mumbai.
The winner of the match will book his place in the final of the 2019 IPL, while the defeat will provide a second chance to the losing team in Qualifier 2 on May 10.