The clash between the Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad this evening is a heavyweight contest between arguably the best batting and bowling line-ups in the competition.
The Super Kings have impressed me so far this season, particularly captain MS Dhoni whose leadership skills have become as valuable as his revered cricketing abilities.
Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina have been in outstanding form with the bat, successfully chasing down a 186 run target in their last outing against the Rajasthan Royals, a performance which put everyone else on notice.
Throw in Ravindra Jadeja, one of the world's best all-rounders, and you have a group of very experienced match-winners capable of taking their teammates to new heights.
Interestingly, the Sunrisers' strength lies in their bowling line-up, led by the ever-impressive Dale Steyn. Aptly supported by Ishant Sharma, Thisara Perera and Amit Mishra, all four have played crucial roles in guiding Hyderabad to their five wins to date.
Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White have failed to dominate so far with the bat, which remains their side’s main issue. Both are great shot makers capable of putting big scores together and will be determined to turn things around.
This one could go either way, but I'm going with the Super Kings, who will have gained a lot of confidence from their recent performances, particularly those of their big name players.
Both teams have five wins from seven matches and sit side-by-side one another at the healthy end of the table. Expect a fiery battle between two sides I reckon could be challenging for the trophy at the end of May.
Before I wrap up, I’d like to pay tribute to Chris Gayle for an absolutely incredible innings Tuesday night. His 175 off 66 single-handedly won Royal Challengers Bangalore the match, which is a given, but it was the way he did it which made the world take notice. 17 sixes, 13 boundaries and the record for fastest century in T20 history – astonishing!
That performance underlines Gayle’s importance to any T20 side. He is one of very few players with the ability to blow teams out of the water, and while he can be hit and miss at times, when he’s on, he is totally unplayable.
For as long as he can continue to do things like that, franchises and leagues around the world will invest big money to bring him in.