Chennai Super Kings vs. Mumbai Indians – Then, Now and Forever!!!
The two heavyweights in the history of the world’s largest T20 cricket league - Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. They share seven successful IPL titles between them, with MI leading at 4. The battle between the Blues and the Yellow is the El Clasico of the IPL!! It all started even before the actual cricket action on the ground when the two franchises fought for MS Dhoni in the first IPL auction held in 2008. Eventually, MI had to give in due to the budgetary pressure since they already had an icon player in the form of Sachin Tendulkar. Thus, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first Super King, and the rest is history Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images The real rivalry started in the year 2010 when the CSK skipper Dhoni positioned Hayden at the mid-off leading to the dismissal of danger man Kieron Pollard and, they clinched the trophy for the first time. Since then, a lot has changed over the seasons. The sponsors, chairman, captains, coaches, players, grounds, franchises in and out, but one everlasting thing is the rivalry between the two teams. The players have swapped between these two teams as well – Rayudu, Bravo, Harbhajan, Hussey, to name a few. Chennai has been the most consistent team in the history of the IPL. MI has been the most successful team clinching the IPL title four times. Both sides vary a lot in their style of playing and management as well. They have produced numerous match-winning players who have gone on to represent the country and excel at the international stage. MI is one of the few teams to have a better winning percentage at Chepauk by winning 6 of the eight encounters there. Initially, there was no clear winner in the battle between both the teams. But recently, the MI has dominated the yellow lads from down south and has won 5 of the last six outings. They are proving to be a headache for the MS led team in the knockouts as they dominate the CSK in IPL finals 3-1. MI is an entirely different team when they face the CSK, and they don’t yield to the pressure which the other teams exhibit when they face the mighty yellow giants. It is a fan-created rivalry with passionate fans and followers from both sides with no Indian team loyalties coming to the scene, be it Sachin, Dhoni, Rohit, or whoever it may be. Suresh Raina tops the batting chart in the contests between both sides with 722 runs while Lasith Malinga leads with the ball picking up 36 scalps. The following are the stats between the two sides, including both IPL and now-defunct Champions League T20. After 2010 final, the rivalry intensified further in 2012 when the CSK beat MI in the Eliminator, denying chances for MI to place their hands at the trophy. But the year 2013 belonged to the Mumbai Indians. They had won both the games in the league stages against the CSK. They played against each other in the 1st qualifier for a direct spot in the final. But the CSK, thanks to splendid knocks from Mike Hussey and Raina, posted a massive total on the board, and the MI failed to chase it. Then they came out victorious in the remaining playoff, and the iconic Eden Gardens played the host for the finals. MI posted an average target of 149 thanks to the pyrotechnics of Kieran Pollard, and Chennai failed to chase it. It was an act of sweet revenge from the Mumbai side as they clinched their first title, which they were denied three years ago by the same opposition, and the rivalry came full circle. In 2015, the Mumbai side was languishing at the bottom, and the quickfire knock of Hardik Pandya against the likes of Negi at Chepauk turned the fortunes for his side, which was the turning point in that season. Once again, the teams clashed on the big stage of the finals in the venue of Eden Gardens. The result was no different this time. MI was victorious thanks to the fireworks from Rohit and Pollard. There was a lull period in the rivalry as CSK faced a ban for the next two years. Then the epic comeback of all sorts happened when the IPL 2018 kicked off. CSK faced their arch-rivals MI in the opening match of the season at Wankhede. The target Needing166 runs, the CSK batting order collapsed with the team reeling at 119/8 with 47 runs required from 18 balls. Dwayne Bravo played one hell of an innings bringing down the equation down to 7 runs from 6 balls with one wicket in hand. The injured Kedhar Jadhav, who retired during the middle of the innings, returned to face the last over and led his team to victory. It was the start of something for CSK, which marked the most memorable comeback in the history of IPL for a side, signing off with the title victory in the same venue on May 27, 2018. In 2019, it was all Mumbai Indians throughout the season. They were victorious against the CSK in the league stages, and they beat them comfortably in the qualifiers as well. It was all set for the big final with both the teams tied at 3-3 title victories. The game went down till the last over where the MI veteran Lasith Malinga delivered for his side and nullified the valiant efforts from Shane Watson, leading his team to 1 run victory over the CSK and clinch the trophy for the 4th time. On March 29, 2020, we would have witnessed the 31st outing of this modern age rivalry between these sides, but thanks to COVID-19, it was not the case. Hopefully, the action resumes sooner, and the rivalry grows and produces some exciting action of cricket as it has done in the past. To more epic clashes and nail-biting moments from the men in blue and men in yellow. Cheers!!! About the Author The post is written by Aravind . Aravind is a graduate from IIM Visakhapatnam and an avid cricket enthusiast. He follows the game with great passion. More than mere watching, he likes to analyze the game deeply and write blogs.