Actress Priyanka Chopra talks to MS Dhoni and other CSK players during the opening ceremony of the 5th edition of Indian Premier League in Chennai. PTI/TV grab
It's time for IPL again. The tournament enters the fifth year and one feels good at the way it is still holding on to its popularity and connect with the fan. That is very important for sport and sportsmen as that gives the players an extra kick to give it their all for the next two months.
The first match is between two of the top guns of the competition, Mumbai and Chennai. Mumbai won the Champions League last year and CSK are the champions for two years running.
I am sure Chennai will definitely be looking to achieve a hattrick. The biggest positive for CSK is that they have held on to their core team for some years now. When you have a set team for sometime it helps the captain in deciding a lot of matters. He, by now, knows how a particular cricketer responds to a particular situation, which will help MS Dhoni not only decide the playing eleven but also who should take centre-stage in a particular situation.
Dhoni's team will miss a few players due to injury, some will be busy doing national duty during the early phase. But he still has the back-up to field a strong team. India players like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath and R Ashwin will surely provide the fire-power, not to forget Dhoni, who, according to me, is a world class act in the shorter formats of the game. Chennai also has variety in their bowling.
Mumbai Indians have given the responsibility of leading the side to Harbhajan Singh, most probably rewarding him for the Champions League success.
He is working hard to make a comeback into the Indian side and the added responsibility will motivate him to produce that extra push. Mumbai Indians have a good Indian attack in Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha, to be aided by Lasith Malinga. People will be eager to watch Richard Levi, the new T20 sensation, along with the evergreen Tendulkar. Mumbai this time have really planned their selection and on paper they look formidable.
(The writer leads Pune Warriors in the IPL)
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