The much-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence on Saturday with the two most successful sides of the tournament — Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings — taking on each other in the opening match. Sharing his thoughts on ElClasico of the IPL, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma said that he enjoys playing against the Chennai-based side and will approach the game as any other fixture. “Playing against CSK is always fun, we enjoy that battle. But when we play the game it is just another opposition for us and that is how we want to move forward,” Rohit said in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on their official Twitter account.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya feels it is a clash between the two most loved teams of the tournament.
“It has become a game which people look forward to. It is one of the two franchises that are most loved by the fans and that is how it becomes special. I do not know when we all will get our A-game out when we are playing against CSK and I wish we always do that,” Pandya said.
Head coach Mahela Jayawardene said the team has to ”lift their game” to defeat CSK.
“To beat a team like this or compete against a team like this you really really have to lift your game and I think naturally all the boys do that. As a franchise it is something that we thrive as well,” Mahela said.
The two teams have faced each other 28 times in the IPL with MI holding an edge over CSK as they have a 17-11 win/loss record against them. They have shared a victory each in the now-defunct Champions League T20 (a competition both franchises have won twice) as well.
In their last meeting, during the 2019 IPL final, MI beat CSK by just one run.
The match will be more special for Mahendra Singh Dhoni fans as the former wicketkeeper-batsman will return to action after more than a year. The 2019 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand was Dhoni”s last match as he announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15 this year.