IPL 2023: GT stands between another El-Classico MI vs CSK finale

Once more the fans will be eagerly hoping for the biggest rivalry in IPL to take place at the largest stadium in the world.

After almost two months of riveting cricket, we are down to the last two matches of IPL 2023. Interestingly, another ‘El Classico’ of cricket is in the cards unless Gujarat Titans turn out to be the party poopers.

Gujarat Titans will be desperate to spoil the mood of innumerable fans belonging to both these franchises. The best side of the tournament so far by some margin will look to book a place for the finals on their home turf. While they will face Mumbai Indians at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, Chennai Super Kings are already in the finals after beating the Gujarat Titans by 15 runs in Qualifier 1.

On the other hand, Mumbai Indians will fancy their chances after the way they thrashed Lucknow Super Giants. The side led by skipper Rohit Sharma has improved massively in the later half of the tournament. Their biggest strength is their flamboyant batting line which can demolish any opposition on a given day

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Earlier in the evening, LSG suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of MI by 81 runs. An all-round performance with bat and bowl along with a special spell by Akash Madhwal ameliorated Mumbai Indians beat Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator match at the M.A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. Madhwal’s 5 for 5 was the first-ever fifer in the playoffs of IPL, which resulted in a one-sided affair in the knockout stage of the competition. This was also their first win against LSG. Mumbai Indians are now inching closer toward another ‘ El Classico’.

” I definitely thought about it (entering the Ahmedabad leg of the playoffs). That’s what we have done over the years. People don’t expect us to do certain things but we come out of all the obstacles and manage our way through to get what we want. Honestly, at the start of the season, we knew that we had a lot of work to do. But we worked through it, we scrambled through it. Yes, it was a scrappy one but I would take that any day,” said Rohit Sharma in the post-match interview after winning the eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants.

El Clasico, for those who are unfamiliar, is the name given to football matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid, two of Spain’s most illustrious rivals. The term is Spanish and means “The Classic” in English. This is one of the world’s most-viewed football matches. During these games, all of the numbers are smashed.

The IPL’s MI vs. CSK rivalry also generates a tonne of fervor among spectators, observers, and participants, which is why the eagerly awaited matchup is associated with the well-known sporting expression. When it comes to the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings, and Mumbai Indians are two of the most popular teams.

MI-CSK rivalry

The famed rivalry between MI and CSK has taken shape throughout the years thanks to their participation in some thrilling IPL matches. The Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have faced off 36 times in the T20 league, with the Mumbai Indians winning 20 and the Chennai Super Kings winning 16.

CSK and MI are the two most successful teams in terms of trophies as well. While MI has won the trophy five times (in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020), CSK has won it four times (in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021).

Additionally, this is the most IPL meeting between any two clubs. The reason for that is that they both entered the playoffs and finals at a record-breaking rate. MI has advanced to six IPL finals, winning five of them. In the finals of 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2019 MI played CSK; after losing the first match, they went on to win the following three.

Some of the biggest names in the sports have played for the two sides, including Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Malinga among many others.

Along with being the capitals of their respective states, they are two of India’s largest metropolitan areas. The two biggest film industries in India, the Tamil film business (Kollywood) and the Hindi film industry (Bollywood), which are situated in Mumbai and Chennai respectively, add some extra spice to their rivalry.

The rivalry between these two teams has been equated to “El Clasico” by Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma shared an image of himself training in the nets on the social media platform Twitter in 2019. “#ElClassico of IPL is here, folks,” Sharma wrote in the caption.

When it comes to El Clasico, Sharma is a Real Madrid Football Club fan. He has visited Madrid’s home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, numerous times. During Sharma’s visit in 2020, the club also presented him a customised jersey with ‘RO 45’ on the back.

Kieron Pollard, the MI batting coach, tried to play down the anticipation and excitement. When asked about the hype created by the match between CSK and MI, trying to keep things straightforward, he said “It’s just another game. Obviously, it’s a big game, we call it El Clasico of the IPL, Mumbai vs Chennai, and a lot of expectations are thrust upon this match in terms of who’s going to come out on top”.

Once more the fans will be eagerly hoping for the biggest rivalry in IPL to take place at the largest stadium in the world. Whether Gujarat Titans become the thorn in the flesh for the fan clubs of MI and CSK, the crazy cricket enthusiasts will be very interesting to watch out for!

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