The inaugral match of IPL 2011 could have been touted as worth not watching, if it was not the 4th edition where teams have changed almost completely, specially Kolkata Knight Riders. Chennai Super Kings is the defending Champion, but KKR is the strongest team (on paper) of this edition of IPL. The odds favor KKR for a thumping victory over CSK.
CSK holds a major edge over KKR. CSK have won 4 matches and lost only one match against KKR. One match was abandoned. But, if Dhoni, the Indian and CSK captain, has to be quoted – history never matters. Last performances between these two teams will scream against any change in historical trend appearing even this season. Yet, KKR has a new team and with that a new belief.
KKR has a new captain. Gambhir is not new to the job. He has already captained India and Delhi Daredevils. He is considered as potential future captain of India. He has a happy problem of pleny in selecting his final XI. While his position as opener is fixed, the contest for partner can be between Haddin, the man in form, and Kallis, the allrounder with perfect record in IPL. Ryan ten Doeschate can claim the spot at number 3 or 4, depending upon position of Haddin and Kallis. Shakib and Yusuf Pathan can then come in middle order to rock the opposition with quick scores and later with their smart spins too.
CSK on the other hand will be dependent mostly on Indian trio of Raina, Murali Vijay and Dhoni. Plessis does not have the speed of T20. He can be a good anchor though. Bravo and Hussey will be missed. Albie Morkel would be the key with bat and ball both. If Morkel and Raina are kept in check, KKR has a good chance to dominate.
Dhoni Vs Gambhir
Dhoni is the best captain around the globe, for now. Gambhir is talked about as the best future option. Dhoni is cool, Gambhir is aggressive. Dhoni can kill with eye movement and evoke confidence with his talks. Gambhir is knonw for aggression. He has been even fined and banned for over-aggression. But, he still talks a lot, now with the bat. His World Cup final innings will be remembered for that. Both have overall not contribued much in IPL. Dhoni has played few good innings, but Gambhir cannot claim even that much. Yet it is the captaincy for which both will be eyed on.