Embroiled in the spot-fixing scam,becoming champions for a third time would be a daunting task for the Chennai Super Kings when they take on the formidable Mumbai Indians in the summit clash of the scandal-marred T20 League, in Kolkata on Sunday.
The arrest of its management
official M Gurunath, who is the son-in-law of the team owner and BCCI president N Srinivasan, on the suspicion of betting would have surely dented the morale of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side.
It will be a huge challenge for the players and their skipper to cope up with the situation and play their natural game against a team, which is keen to win that elusive trophy.
Chennai have been a part of four consecutive, five overall, finals but it is the best chance for Mumbai to take a good shot at the title, avenge their 2010 final defeat.
Also, they would want to win it as a gift to senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar. It is the one trophy that is missing from the cabinet of the milestone man of Indian cricket. He had a heartbreak as Mumbai Indians captain in 2010 when the team lost to Dhoni's men by 22 runs.
It was CSK's first T20 League title and since then Dhoni's team has grown in stature.
On paper, it's a battle of equals with both Chennai and Mumbai boasting explosive Twenty20 specialists in Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Ravindra Jadeja and Kieron Pollard.
Both teams have a penetrating pace attack with Albie Morkel and season's find Mohit Sharma doing a tidy job for Chennai, while Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga and Pollard make a terrific trio in the Mumbai ranks.