The Champions League Twenty20 might not have found as much success as its counterpart the Indian Premier League, however, it is more than evident that the players in the championship have been taking this tournament very seriously. A number of incidents highlight the extent of desperation and thirst of the players to win the matches; the dejection on Virat Kohli’s face as he squatted on his haunches in the middle of the pitch in Durban after an inspiring innings that almost snatched victory against Mumbai Indians.
Those happiest with the results over the last two days will most certainly be the organizers of the tournament who find two of the IPL teams making their way in the semi-finals. One of the team from IPL has already made its way into the final ensuring greater viewership, which would not have been the case had the non-Indian teams qualified.
Chennai Super Kings have all the right to be bragging about their absolutely impressive form, since they were also the winners of this year’s edition of IPL. However, if the Royal Challengers Bangalore manage to upstage the army of MS Dhoni and his men, then they will certainly have something to boast about. These two sides have met before in the semi-final of a tournament, the IPL 2009 that took place in South Africa, where Bangalore went on to win with an impressive 6 wicket win over their rivals.
Both the teams can also reflect on their past performance with the IPL, which should give them more confidence keeping in view the fact that both the teams had started off poorly in the league, however managed to end strongly by the end of the season. The major difference between both the teams is that Chennai heavily rely on spinners while Bangalore have a number of quick bowlers up their sleeve to dominate other sides.
A couple of very important exclusions in the final league matches have been the absence of all rounder’s Jacques Kallis who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a neck injury, while Albie Morkel has not played a couple of matches due to illness. The absence of the South African all-rounder has surely upset Bangalore’s balance, which would give Chennai a great advantage if Morkel manages to recover from his illness in time.
The overall record between the two sides has seen Bangalore winning 4, while Chennai winning 3 matches against each other that simply goes on to depict the competitive rivalry that exists between the two sides. The semi-final today surely promises to live up to the expectations of the fans.
Chennai had armoured their side with spinners for their match against Warriors in Port Elizabeth, however that strategy is less likely to work in Durban where the track is not very spinner-friendly.
Bangalore, on the contrary, are most unlikely to make too many changes to a side that seems set and in good form. However, one drawback that they might face is that the only recognized spinner they have is Anil Kumble. Cameron White can bowl leg-spin, however it is still to be seen if they choose to go with that option.
Ross Taylor and his form will definitely be a major factor that can completely overturn the tables in his teams favour, and he has been relatively overshadowed during this tournament. MS Dhoni has also been quiet in the tournament so far, and if he manages to find his explosive form it will certainly be a deciding factor in the result of the match.
Michael Hussey’s presence with Chennai might also be another important factor, and if he manages to give his team a good start it will make things very difficult for their adversary.
“The spinners have done the job for us so far. Hopefully, on the Durban pitch, the fast bowlers will do well for the team," MS Dhoni noted as the two teams braced themselves for the contest.