Clash of titans
Chennai take on Mumbai in 1st play-off It will be a 'Battle of Equals' when mighty Chennai Super Kings meet the formidable Mumbai Indians in the...
Chennai take on Mumbai in 1st play-off It will be a 'Battle of Equals' when mighty Chennai Super Kings meet the formidable Mumbai Indians in the first play-off match of the Pepsi Indian Premier League here on Tuesday. On paper, there is very little to choose between the two teams, who have both won 11 out of their 16 matches and have a number of match-winners who can turn the tables on a given day. Mumbai Indians under stewardship of Rohit Sharma has been a force to reckon with having won all their eight matches at home, while CSK's season has been a mix and match but they have successfully finished off a number of close encounters, which has been their hallmark over the years. Mumbai Indians might just have a psychological advantage having beaten the 'Men in Yellow' in both home and away games. However it will be an altogether different test on a 'neutral venue' as they will be playing at the Feroze Shah Kotla which has been known for producing dodgy 22-yard strips over the years. With both teams relying on their batsmen to do the trick, one can brace up for 'some battles' within the main contest. It can be a Sachin Tendulkar versus Ravichandran Ashwin, Mahendra Singh Dhoni versus Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard against Mohit Sharma or Mike Hussey versus Pragyan Ojha affair. Tendulkar is likely to make a comeback at the top of the order and the senior batsman would certainly want to play an innings of impact. Only 287 runs from 14 matches this season at an average of shade over 22 is not something that Tendulkar will be too happy about. His form has been patchy but occasional brilliance like the one against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai can be expected any time. With the dangerous Dwayne Smith as a partner, one can expect an explosive start from the duo.