This could easily have been the dream final of the Champions League T20.
For now, it’s just the opener for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians and one can safely say that the hosts are the runaway favourites.
CSK have all the ingredients that can take them all the way, while Mumbai Indians are a struggling lot. The biggest blow for the team has been the absence of Sachin Tendulkar.
The Little Master suffered an injury in England and that has forced him out of the tournament. If that is not enough, they will also miss the likes of Rohit Sharma and Munaf Patel – the two big stars who helped them finish third in the IPL.
Keeping everything into consideration, the ICC has allowed them five foreign players in the playing XI, but how much of it will make a difference remains to be seen.
While Mumbai Indians will be heavily dependent on an off-colour and now captain Harbhajan Singh, an unpredictable Kieron Pollard and the super-slinger Lasith Malinga to keep them in the fight, CSK looks balanced in every department.
Man to man, they are far ahead of this rag-tag Mumbai Indians and none of their players are injured. Tired yes, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have been playing continuously since February, but there are others in this team who are really looking forward to this opportunity.
Take M Vijay for example. He played a brilliant knock in the IPL final but was a complete wash-out in West Indies. After being dropped for the England tour, this will be his chance to show the world that he is right up there with the best.
The likes of S Badrinath and R Ashwin, too, relish these opportunities playing for CSK, and both know that some good performances will not go unnoticed.
The biggest asset of CSK is the two allrounders that they have. Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo lend flexibility and CSK can always play that extra bowler, who will be crucial in Chepauk.