IPL 2021: 'I don't think they will have the same dominance' - Brian Lara names his 'favourite' for CSK vs MI clash
- Ahead of the blockbuster MI vs CSK game, Brian Lara picked his favourite to win the contest as the IPL 2021 returns to the UAE.
The IPL 2021 returns with heavyweights Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings facing each other in the first match of the UAE-leg on Sunday. Overall, this is the 30th game of the season and one that promises to captivate the attention of cricket fans. CSK and MI have the two biggest fanbase among all eight franchises, and given the fierce competitiveness between the two teams, MI and CSK are ready to write another fresh chapter in their epic rivalry.
Historically, MI have had the edge over CSK. In 31 matches played between the two teams, MI lead 19-12. One more win will give them with the second most wins by a team against an opposition in the IPL. Former West Indies captain Brian Lara has in fact backed the five-time IPL winners to get the better of CSK in Dubai, terming them 'favourites' for the match.
Also Read | IPL 2021 Full Coverage
"The fact that Mumbai Indians left Chepauk with a little bit of success, I think that will give them the confidence they need. They are going back to the UAE where they won the IPL 2020. For me, they are going to start favourites. Their confidence is going to be high just from the fact that they have got good memories of playing in the UAE. I think they can get the better of CSK,” Lara said on Cricket.com's show Man vs Machine."
As for CSK, they have been one of the teams to beat in IPL 2021, placed second on the points-table. However, Lara feels CSK will find it difficult to replicate the success of the first-half due to the fact that the tournament is now back in the UAE, where last season, CSK put up a rudderless show and finished seventh.
"They might have been the unhappiest team when it was curtailed in May. They have changed up a few players and I feel they have a more all-round team, especially getting Moeen Ali in," Lara added.
"I don't think they'll have the same dominance but definitely (will be) one of the qualifiers when the tournament gets to that stage. They will have to work hard in the UAE to get the same success. I believe the team is well gelled, the success they have had in the first half of the tournament is going to serve them well moving forward."