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It’s Dhoni vs Sachin In Cape Town

By on April 17, 2009

sachin dhoni

Cape Town: The time for talk is over and so is the wait for the action in the 2009 Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament that commences here on Saturday with the Chennai Super Kings opening the proceedings against the Mumbai Indians in the first game that will start at 4 pm IST.

The Super Kings, following their up-and-down 2008 IPL campaign that ended in heartbreak with a last-ball defeat against Rajasthan Royals in the final, have strengthened their side with new signings, notably World’s leading all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.

This year, the Super Kings, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, hope to do one better by winning the trophy, and first up for him is an engrossing battle of wits against counterpart, Sachin Tendulkar.

A look at the rival teams:

Chennai Super Kings:

Batting: Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden, Parthiv Patel and Murali Vijay form a trio of opening options. They will be followed by in-form Suresh Raina, Dhoni and Subramaniam Badrinath, besides local talent Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan.

Should Mike Hussey of Australia be available, then he would further strengthen the line-up that further down includes a bunch of quality all-rounders in Flintoff (England), Albie Morkel (South Africa), Jacob Oram (New Zealand), George Bailey (Australia) and Thilan Thushara (Sri Lanka).

Waiting in the wings are the talented young guns Abhinav Mukund, Arun Karthik, Suresh Kumar, Srikkanth Anirudha and Napoleon Einstein

Bowling: Plenty of options, beginning with the pace of Makhaya Ntini (South Africa), Lakshmipathy Balaji who made a successful comeback to competitive cricket in 2008 IPL, Manpreet Gony, Sudeep Tyagi, Palani Amarnath and Joginder Sharma with Muttiah Muralitharan, World’s leading Test wicket taker, heading the spin department. The off-spin of Ravichandran Ashwin is another option so also left-arm slow bowler Shadab Jakati.

The team composition would be the key for Super Kings with restriction of four foreign players in the starting eleven.

Mumbai Indians:

Batting: The Tendulkar-Sanath Jayasuriya combination head the line-up that has four all-rounders in Jean-Paul Duminy (South Africa), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies), Ryan McLaren (South Africa) and Graham Napier (England), with the explosive wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi providing depth.

Not to be overlooked is the home-grown talent – Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Abhishek Nayar.

Bowling: Harbhajan Singh and pace king Zaheer Khan are the obvious spearheads backed by Kylie Mills (New Zealand), Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Mahalinga (Sri Lanka), Mohd Ashraful (Bangladesh) and Dilhara Fernando (Sri Lanka).

2008 IPL results between the two teams:

At Chennai: Super Kings 208 for 5 in 20 overs (Hayden 81, Raina 53, Dhoni 30) beat Mumbai Indians 202 for 7 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 43, Abhishek Nayar 45, Joginder 2 for 29, Muralitharan 2 for 40) by six runs.

At Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings 156 for 6 in 20 overs (Badrinath 53, Dhoni 43 not out, Kulkarni 3 for 33, Bravo 2 for 37) lost to Mumbai Indians 158 for 1 in 13.5 overs (Jayasuriya 114 not out) by nine wickets.

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