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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
April 11, 2012
Match factsThursday, April 12, Chennai
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore's respective states are fierce rivals in the Ranji Trophy, and these two franchises contested an IPL final, two semi-finals and a qualifying final. Chennai and Bangalore are also two cities that have taken to franchise cricket.
These two sides are the closest thing to a rivalry in the IPL - Super Kings lead the head-to-head 7-5. The tournament can do with a closely fought game after several one-sided contests this season.
Players to watch
Muttiah Muralitharan was an important part of Super Kings' success over the first few years, but he is now up against his former team. He was exceptional in Royal Challengers' first game against Delhi Daredevils, but took a beating in the second against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Chennai curator, who over the last few years served up slow and low pitches that made for unattractive cricket, produced a surprise with a green surface for the opening game. The ball came on, but it also bounced generously. Super Kings couldn't manage a defendable target, Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma got hit in the unmentionables, and Sachin Tendulkar missed three games after a blow to his hand. All this a day after the IPL chairman had asked for pitches that produced a minimum of 160. That strip will be under the scanner.
Stats and trivia
"He [Dhoni] never seems to be under any kind of pressure. Obviously, he has pressure but that he has been living with for quite some time now."
Stephen Fleming adds more coolness to Dhoni's image
"We bowled quite well last year too. The addition of Vinay Kumar has been outstanding for us. He can bowl at any stage of the innings. And obviously Muralitharan." Daniel Vettori.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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