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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 03 April 2012 - 03:19pm IST

Preview: Match 1 – CSK v MI

Defending champs take on CLT20-winners in tournament opener

What

The opening fixture of IPL 2012 features two heavyweight teams – Chennai Super Kings defending champions of the Indian Premier League, lock horns with 2011 Champions League T20 winners Mumbai Indians.

Chennai Super Kings, who won the IPL title for the first time in 2010 and defended it successfully in 2011, will begin the 2012 season eyeing their third consecutive IPL title. Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, will remember the defeat at the hands of CSK in the IPL 2010 final and will want to settle scores on this occasion.

When

Wednesday, April 4, 2011, 08:00 p.m.

Where

MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

The Protagonists


With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga in the mix, the game is an all-star affair.

However, it would be prudent to keep an eye on Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in the Chennai Super Kings line-up, and Sachin Tendulkar, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga in the Mumbai Indians jersey. Raina thrives in the limited overs format and the T20 format gives him the freedom to play his shots from the word go. MS Dhoni is one of the best finishers in the world and though he might look pretty calm and cool outwardly, he is always in the ready-to-explode mode.

Sachin Tendulkar has got the 100th international century off his back and relinquished captaincy of the Mumbai Indians. Watch out for a doubly dangerous Tendulkar this IPL, out to enjoy his game

Pollard was in devastating form in the home series against the Australians recently and will be hoping to make up for an ordinary performance IPL 2011. Lasith Malinga was too hot to handle in IPL 2011 (when he bagged the Purple Cap); watch out as he sends stumps cartwheeling with his razor-sharp yorkers.

Previous meetings

Both teams have shared honors evenly in the eight previous meetings between them. In the most recent clash, at the Wankhede Stadium last season, the Mumbai Indians got the better of the Chennai Super Kings by eight runs.

Trivia

• This fixture will feature the top two run-getters and top two wicket-takers in the history of the IPL. Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina tops the list of run-getters while Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar is placed second on the list. On the bowling front, Mumbai Indians have the edge thanks to RP Singh and Lasith Malinga, who are placed first and second respectively on the list of leading wicket-takers in the IPL.

• Chennai Super Kings’ skipper MS Dhoni is the most experienced cricketer when it comes to leading a team in Twenty20 matches. The Jharkhand-lad has been captain in 100 T20 matches.

• In the two outings between the sides at Chennai, the home team has come out on top.

What next?


Mumbai Indians will head back home after this fixture to host neighbors Pune Warriors India at the Wankhede Stadium on April 6, while the Chennai Super Kings will be seen in action the following day when they take on the Deccan Chargers at Visakhapatnam.

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