IPL 1st Match - Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians Live Score
Last Season we witnessed many dramas and entertainment. Here there will be no restriction on cheer leaders as well hoping best not to have Slapping Drama. But horse mouth cannot be sat quiet and we will see definately something happening interesting here in South Africa.
Even though the Chennai Super Kings reached the finals in the last edition, their win-loss record was only slightly above average with 9 wins and 7 losses.
Ground Reality and Pitch: The home ground of the Cape Cobras, the Newlands will host the first match of IPL 2009. Nestled in the backdrop of the Table Mountains, the Newlands forms a picturesque setting for TV viewers as well as the 25000 spectators it can accommodate. The pitch has been known to favour spinners more than most other South African grounds. The inaugural Twenty20 World Cup saw Newlands play host to nine matches, with 7 of the 9 games being won by the side batting second.
Mumbai Indians: Last time around, the captain Tendulkar was absent for a major portion of the IPL. This time, he looks set to be there throughout the tournament, and what's more he's batting with the fluency of old, of the Tendulkar of the 90s. The bowling attack looks potent, with Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh in prime form, backed by Dhawal Kulkarni and Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Kyle Mills and Dwayne Bravo to choose from among the foreign recruits. The batting top order - Tendulkar, Jayasuriya, JP Duminy, Shikhar Dhawan - are all capable of turning in single-handed match winning performances.
Chennai Super Kings: Led by the inspirational Dhoni, they came agonizingly close to winning the event last year. This team believes in performances counting for more than headlines and braggadocio, and have quietly and efficiently gone about their preparations. Their level-headed approach is reflected in their choice of players - a strong core of Indian batsman backed by carefully selected foreign imports. Badrinath, Raina and Dhoni form what is probably the best middle order in the IPL - keeping in mind the limit of only 4 foreign players allowed in the eleven. Add Mathew Hayden, Andrew Flintoff and Albie Morkel to the mix and you have an almost ideal batting line-up. Now if only they could find a reliable opening partner for Hayden.
Debutants: Andrew Flintoff is on a high after his hat-trick against the West Indies and the burly all-rounder will bolster the formidable Chennai line-up with his presence and he may prove to be the decisive factor in the six games that he will play. Aussie George Bailey comes into the mega event with the reputation of a destructive batsman and a handy medium pacer. Thilan Thushara's swing can be a handy weapon too.
Unlike some of the other line-ups, both sides have been pretty low-key so far, keeping the frills out and concentrating on the cricket. Chennai arrived early in South Africa to acclimatise to the conditions, while Mumbai have been in the news mainly for the announcement of their South African coaches. For a tournament which has been in the news for so many non-cricketing reasons, it can't be a bad thing that it kicks off with teams high on talent but low on controversy.
Harbhajan SinghWhatever has happened is over and done with. We all make mistakes learn from them. I've moved on as a cricketer and I'm looking forward to doing well for the IPL for Mumbai Indians. Keeping my fingers crossed that I perform the way I have been
Whatever has happened is over and done with. We all make mistakes learn from them. I've moved on as a cricketer and I'm looking forward to doing well for the IPL for Mumbai Indians. Keeping my fingers crossed that I perform the way I have been said Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan v Murali: Harbhajan had an excellent tour of New Zealand, and he loves to bowl in the short formats. Muralitharan didn't do the damage he was expected to in the last IPL, and this is an opportunity to make amends.
Harbhajan Singh isn't looking back at what was a forgettable IPL 2008 for him
Suresh RainaThe expectations have definitely increased this time after we finished runners-up last time. If you compare us to the other teams, I think our team is well-balanced and definitely one of the favourites to win the tournament
"The expectations have definitely increased this time after we finished runners-up last time. If you compare us to the other teams, I think our team is well-balanced and definitely one of the favourites to win the tournament." said Raina.
Suresh Raina has high expectations from the Chennai team
On last year's form, Chennai Super Kings will be favoured to make a winning start to their IPL campaign on Saturday, but Mumbai Indians have a couple of key factors going in their favour which could well make all the difference. Sachin Tendulkar, who missed the first part of the tournament last year, is fit and available from the start this time. Shaun Pollock will be missed with the ball, but his presence as mentor and Jonty Rhodes' as fielding coach could be key, especially since both will be familiar with South African conditions.
The big addition in the Chennai ranks is Andrew Flintoff, who will be available for the first part of the tournament. His bowling, especially, could be hugely vital for a team which struggled occasionally in that area last year. MS Dhoni has gained plenty more leadership experience since last June, and he'll also have the vast tactical knowledge of Stephen Fleming, the coach, to tap into.