By India Today Sports Desk: Former Australia and Chennai Super Kings opener Matthew Hayden said on Wednesday that Mumbai Indians’ resurgence in the latter half of IPL 2023 and their 81-run hammering of Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator would not have made life easy for Chennai Super Kings, who are waiting in the final of one of the most thrilling seasons of the T20 tournament.
Matthew Hayden said CSK would already have Mumbai Indians’ comeback in their minds as they wait to know the second finalists of IPL 2023. MI hammered LSG in Chennai and set up a Qualifier 2 clash with Gujarat Titans, who were outclassed by CSK on Tuesday.
IPL Eliminator: LSG vs MI Highlights
MI will face GT in Qualifier 2 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, May 26. Notably, the 5-time champions defeated the defending champions by 27 runs in their last meeting in the group stage at the Wankhede Stadium.
Akash Madhwal was the start of the show for MI’s 81-run demolition of LSG as he ran through their batting order, picking up 5 wickets in 3.3 overs to help Rohit Sharma’s side successfully defend 182.
Notably, Akash Madhwal had picked up 3 wickets in MI’s win over GT, including that of Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha.
“Very special achievement, it’s been a very big difference in the way MI have played in the two halves of the season. In the first 7 games, they won only 3 games and 4 losses. And the next 7, they won 5. They have really got on a roll here. I would imagine opposition sides will be fearing MI now,” Hayden told Star Sports.
GT, CSK WORRIED ALREADY?
MI lost to CSK in both their meetings in the group stage in IPL 2023 but the 5-time champions have a superior record over the Super Kings in IPL finals. MI have beaten CSK in 3 out of 4 finals — 2013, 2015 and 2019.
Matthew Hayden highlighted that Dwayne Bravo, CSK’s bowling coach, joked about CSK not wanting to face MI in the playoffs while driving home his point on Wednesday.
“If they haven’t already, and Mumbai Indians are not only in a position in the next game where they can qualify (for the final), that is going to send some real shivers through the spines of CSK. We have already heard that from one of their very greatest DJ Bravo. But also, Gujarat Titans, who would have they wanted to play, I don’t think it would be Mumbai Indians,” he added.
Mumbai Indians have a stiff task in hand as they will face Gujart Titans at the latter’s home ground in Ahmedabad. GT, who have easily been the best side in the league stage, will be keen on making it to their second successive final and proving that the defeat in Chennai was a rare blip.
Notably, MI captain Rohit Sharma also took pride in the way the 5-time champions overcame a slow start, saying that he was confident that they would reach the playoffs even as the first half of IPL 2023 did not go their way.