When Chennai Super Kings take on the Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore today, a large section of the crowd will still be a disappointed lot. They would have expected their home team Royal Challengers Bangalore to play this match, but Deccan Chargers spoiled their party.
Deccan ensured that they wouldn’t finish last and in the process oust the Royal Challengers, who I believe should have won the game after restricting Deccan to 132. The teams that are able to handle pressure better will thrive in this format. Unfortunately for Bangalore, they had a more cautious approach when they batted.
The runners-up of the last edition of IPL and Champions League, had been over reliant on Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers, and once they got out, Bangalore lost the plot. Virat Kohli was batting well and his wicket was the turning point for Bangalore’s fortunes. IPL comment: "Last minute" Dhoni strikes again!
Dale Steyn contributed to much of the Bangalore chaos. He is certainly one of the best fast bowlers in the world and he showed us this season that if you are a good bowler, you will perform irrespective of formats and conditions.
Chennai Super Kings had three results to go in their favour in order to secure a berth in the play-offs and many would consider them extremely lucky to still have qualified. Luck has often favoured the MS Dhoni led franchise, but one must not forget that they have been the most successful IPL franchise.
They have made the all five play offs, played three finals out which they have won two, also to mention they have won the Champions League 2010 in South Africa. They have a team suited for his format for all the conditions. The all-rounders like Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel and Ravindra Jadeja add depth to their batting and the arrival of the in-form Ben Hilfenhaus strengthens their pace attack.
Like I mentioned, this format is much about thriving against pressure and the Chennai team knows how to do that. They have a knack of saving their best for the big games, and though they tottered their way to the play-offs, they are very much the favourites for the competition now!
Mumbai Indians had a convincing win over Rajasthan Royals. Their batsmen are in form and the bowling led by Lasith Malinga is doing the job for them, however their skipper Harbhajan Singh’s isn’t in best of form whose effect may be seen in the way he leads. Mumbai have a balanced side but the order of the day will be cool heads to battle the pressure.
The home team might not be playing in Bangalore, but the crowd will still have a spectacle in hands when two of India’s biggest superstars Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni clash in a must win tie.