El Clasico of IPL: CSK vs MI Rivalry Matches
We all know Spain as the country of football which produced many famous players and teams. The term “El Clasico” comes from Spain as well. The rivalry between two biggest football clubs has contributed to its appearance. Real Madrid and Barcelona come from the two largest cities in the country. Moreover, it is a historical fact that the cities have different political positions. No wonder this conflict was transferred into the field. Both teams go hand-in-hand in their sporting achievements, so every match gains a certain level of significance.
But enough with history. Cricket fans who have heard the term and know its meaning must have interested themselves if there is something similar in cricket. Well, there is. El Clasico of IPL actually exists, and it has been happening between two major franchises for decades.
EL Clasico of IPL
The history of confrontation between two teams bears a slightly different character in cricket. For example, the confrontation between England and Australia has a history that goes back almost one and a half centuries.
The Indian Premier League on the other hand is far younger, but two teams have already developed a strong fighting background. El Clasico meaning in IPL basically narrows down to Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Just like Real Madrid and Barcelona, the teams go closely together in terms of titles and track record. Both teams have very powerful cricketers as captains: Rohit Sharma in Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni in Chennai Super Kings. So, what stands behind this confrontation?
Nothing personal, just cricket.
It all started with players. When Rohit Sharma beat MS Dhoni in the captain’s achievements and got the IPL captain trophy, fans began calling him the most resultative captain in T20. That eventually got a reaction from Dhoni’s fans, and so it went on. So now, the MI vs CSK rivalry is basically a sportive confrontation of two high-level captains.
There’s however another deeper side of this. Before Rohit, back in 2008, MI had a legendary batsman on their side – Sachin Tendulkar, while CSK were boasting of a young talented player who started a new era of Indian cricket after he brought the country to a victory during the World T20 in 2007.
The most memorable match which is considered to be a starting point of the IPL El Clasico was held in 2010. The perfect tactical twist performed by MS Dhoni implied that the new generation of cricketers was out in the field: smart, tricky and fearsome.
Dhoni analyzed his opponents. So, he had a pretty good picture of Sachin Tendukar’s style of batting. He knew that left-arm spins were Sachin’s Achilles Heel. During the batting phase he served a ball with his left hand, straight to Shadab Jakati. Kieron Pollard fixed the situation for Mumbai a little after he struck some 4s and 6s. However, despite Pollard’s attempts, Dhoni turned the situation in his favor. He served a precise mid-off standing next to the umpire. The bowler then sent a full ball, confusing Pollard so that he missed the time frame. Meanwhile, the fielder got the mid-off position. For this tactical maneuver, Dhoni was back in 2010 acknowledged as one of the best players in IPL history.
Back to reality
The appearance of Rohit Sharma became a gift from Heaven for Mumbai Indians. They took wins at Chepauk three times in a row and brought four IPL titles back home by basically ripping them from CSK’s hands. It seems like luck now favors Mumbai Indians, even though Chennai Super Kings were staying ahead before. MS Dhoni obviously tries to do his best to lead his team to victory in every match. So, the win-loss ratings of the teams are pretty much the same. However, if speaking about tactical superiority, with the appearance of Rohit Sharma, who is pretty much as witted, Dhoni has lost his advantage
The IPL rivalries did not just end there. Before the 2020 IPL season, the confrontation gained even more strength. That is when Dhoni’s team was on the edge of being eliminated and in the end got kicked out by Mumbai, who needed just that one victory to settle for the play-offs. The circumstances were not very bright for CSK the previous year; however, we are looking forward to the future El Classico of IPL between two brilliant teams.