Sports and sporting rivalries go hand-in-hand. When it comes to cricket, there is the Ashes contest between England and Australia that has a 140-year history of competitiveness. However, in the Indian Premier League (IPL), in its short 13-year period, there is one rivalry that has managed to grab the attention of billions of fans in the country, that of between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Over the years, the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians have been the two most popular teams, having won the IPL trophy more times than any other team.
MI and CSK have developed quite some rivalry between them, and both teams are known for having a fierce winning mentality. Out of the 32 times, the teams have clashed against one another, MI has won 19 times while CSK’s win count stands at 13.
The two powerhouses would be renewing their rivalry as they face-off at the Arun Jaitley Stadium (the erstwhile Feroze Shah Kotla stadium) in Delhi on Saturday.
MI vs CSK: The beginning of a rivalry
The two teams were always the ones to vie for the coveted IPL titles. In the initial years, Chennai Super Kings were in the ascendency and maintained their supremacy over Mumbai Indians, winning 2 of the opening four IPL crowns. Mumbai Indians tasted success relatively late, and they won the IPL for the first time in 2013, at the cost of the Super Kings.
There was a time when CSK were the undisputed behemoth before MI slowly began expanding their fangs and eventually took over as the new leaders.
The appointment of Rohit Sharma changed the entire game for Mumbai Indians. They breached the fortress of Chepauk, winning there in three consecutive seasons. Mumbai Indians have won four IPL titles and three have come by beating Chennai Super Kings. The rivalry, which had started out in favour of Chennai Super Kings and was even until a certain point in time, has now gone totally in favour of Mumbai Indians. MS Dhoni’s team has a positive win-loss ratio against every side barring Mumbai Indians with 12-17.
The two teams have won a combined eight titles from the 13 IPL seasons played thus far. They’ve headlined four finals and played five other playoffs games.
Delhi has been a high-scoring venue and the fans can expect both teams to pile up big totals. With 5 wins from 6 matches, CSK are placed at the top spot in the points table. MI have 3 wins from 6 matches and sit at the 4th spot. A win here will see them keep that position.
MI v CSK: Form guide
Meanwhile, table-toppers CSK have been a force to reckon with this season, having won five of their six games.
Openers du Plessis (270 runs) and Ruturaj (192 runs) have been in top form and would be keen to provide the team with another strong start.
Their middle-order has also been among runs. Moeen Ali (148 runs) has adjusted well to the role of pinch-hitter, while the presence of the ever-reliable Suresh Raina (121 runs) gives the team a huge cushion.
The faltering Mumbai Indians middle-order also clicked in the previous game, on a comparatively easy batting track compared to the one at the Chepauk.
Suryakumar (170 runs) would need to convert his starts while Krunal Pandya (68 runs) played a useful cameo, which would have bolstered his confidence. He would be keen to take it forward from where he left off.
Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have been exceptional, particularly at the death, and would need to perform again to contain the in-form CSK batters.
When these two giants of IPL go head to head, historically the excitement quotient goes quite high, this is a marquee clash none would want to miss.