New Delhi: It will be a 'Battle of Equals' when mighty Chennai Super Kings meet the formidable Mumbai Indians in the first play-off match of the Pepsi Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
On paper, there is very little to choose between the two teams, who have both won 11 out of their 16 matches and have a number of match-winners who can turn the tables on a given day.
Mumbai Indians under stewardship of Rohit Sharma has been a force to reckon with having won all their eight matches at home, while CSK's season has been a mix and match but they have successfully finished off a number of close encounters, which has been their hallmark over the years.
Mumbai Indians might just have a psychological advantage having beaten the 'Men in Yellow' in both home and away games.
However it will be an altogether different test on a 'neutral venue' as they will be playing at the Feroze Shah Kotla which has been known for producing dodgy 22-yard strips over the years.
With both teams relying on their batsmen to do the trick, one can brace up for 'some battles' within the main contest.
It can be a Sachin Tendulkar versus Ravichandran Ashwin, Mahendra Singh Dhoni versus Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard against Mohit Sharma or Mike Hussey versus Pragyan Ojha affair.
Tendulkar is likely to make a comeback at the top of the order and the senior batsman would certainly want to play an innings of impact. Only 287 runs from 14 matches this season at an average of shade over 22 is not something that Tendulkar will be too happy about.
His form has been patchy but occasional brilliance like the one against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai can be expected any time. With the dangerous Dwayne Smith as a partner, one can expect an explosive start from the duo.

Good show in the knock-out can book a berth in India 'A' squad to South Africa, which is scheduled at the end of next month. While Chris Morris also has been decent in the chances that he has got, CSK management might be tempted to field Albie Morkel in place of young West Indian Jason Holder who has been a touch expensive in the matches that he has played so far.
In all, a cracker of a contest can be expected on Tuesday.
Teams (from):
Chennai Super Kings: M S Dhoni (C), Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Srikkanta Anirutha, Ankit Rajpoot, Baba Aparajith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Nuwan Kulasekara, R Karthikeyan, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar and Wridhiman Saha.
Mumbai Indians: Ricky Ponting (Capt), Abu Nechim Ahmed, Akshar Patel, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Ambati Rayudu, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Jalaj Saxena, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal.

Key Players

Mitchell Johnson (Mumbai Indians): The Aussie fast bowler has been the star man for Mumbai this season, and if he picks up some early wickets, CSK might struggle to post a big score.

MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings): He has the penchant for scoring runs in big games and winning the match for his team. With the kind of power hitting he has displayed in the last few matches, expect another blitzkrieg innings from MSD.


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