A contest worthy of the playoffs: MI take on CSK
Mumbai Indians will look to hold on to their dominance over Chennai Super Kings in the second playoff of Indian Premier League's fifth edition at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday evening.
A lucky Chennai Super Kings have made it to the playoffs with a back door entry and will certainly look to make the most of the opportunity that has come their way.
Mumbai ahve defeated Chennai in both the league matches and given their current form and record, the Harbhajan Singh-led team start as favourites against the defending champions.
Chennai made it to the playoffs on net run rate after Royal Challengers Bangalore lost by nine runs to Deccan in their final league game.
Mumbai, however, have entered the playoffs in style, giving Rajasthan Royals a 10-wicket thrashing.
Mumbai would enter the game riding on confidence and therefore they will have to guard themselves against any kind of complacency. Harbhajan Singh's team has never lost any IPL match in Bangalore, and that should be a great positive for the side.
The most heartening thing for Mumbai would be the return to form of Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith.
Mumbai Indians have tried a variety of opening combinations this season and none has clicked as aggressively as the one between Smith and Tendulkar, who helped the team beat Royals by a huge margin of 10 wickets.
Mumbai’s batting order finally looks settled with Rohit Sharma, the big-hitting Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu and James Franklin sharing the burden of the middle order. Rohit and Ambati's form in particular has worked wonders for MI in some of the most thrilling chases seen this season.
Tendulkar too looked in great touch against Rajasthan and that should be an another great piece of news for MI fans. However, it is not the batting alone that makes MI such a dangerous contender. It is also their which boasts of a lethal edge with Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga at the helm.
Dhawal Kulkarni’s brilliant three for 18 against Rajasthan will is likely to give Munaf Patel a stiff competition and that augurs well for the team.
Bangalore isn't a very slow wicket and that should give MI pacers a great deal of confidence.
Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, would definitely like to utilise the lucky chance they got. They might have not shown the invincibility of the last couple of years, but MS Dhoni’s team is well aware that performances of the league stages will hardly count here.
An exciting clash, worthy of the playoffs, is in the waiting.