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Dhoni in spotlight as CSK and MI resume rivalry in new era

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Mumbai, April 13: The legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be in the spotlight in what could be his final game at the iconic Wankhede Stadium when defending champions Chennai Super Kings take on Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.
Dhoni returns to the hallowed turf of Wankhede for the first time ever as a non-captain of the CSK, potentially in his last IPL season.
It will also be his first appearance as just a player for any team since November 2005.
Even at 42, Dhoni’s glove-work remains impeccable and so does his assessment of the game like always. But CSK will hope that his tactical acumen also helps them improve a dismal away record this season, having suffered two defeats on the road.CSK would also hope their recent record against MI – four wins in last five matches including their seven-wicket win here last season – holds them in good stead.
Two of IPL’s most successful teams with five titles each, both sides are witnessing a tectonic shift of leadership change with Hardik Pandya taking over the mantle from Rohit Sharma at MI and Ruturaj Gaikwad succeeding Dhoni at CSK, but there is nothing that suggests their intense rivalry would expect any such shift.
If anything, CSK’s bowlers could be put to sword by the rampaging MI batters who have gone hammer and tongs at the flat pitches here, scoring in excess of 230 against Delhi Capitals and chasing down nearly 200 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru with more than four overs to spare.Pandya’s MI have found their footing after a jittery start.
Their batters have done well in the last two outings and Suryakumar Yadav’s 17-ball fifty against RCB provides an ominous sign to CSK bowlers, who have shown mastery on slow, turning pitches at the Chepauk but remain untested on flat, batting-friendly surfaces.
Ishan Kishan (161 runs) and Rohit’s opening stand would thus be crucial in the scheme of things. (PTI)

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