The 12th edition of IPL begins on Saturday with a 'Southern Derby' as defending champions Chennai Super Kings host the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram stadium. Chennai will be led by arguably India's most successful captain MS Dhoni while RCB will be led by India's batting maestro Virat Kohli. Both teams will be eager to start their campaign on a winning note.
In the head-to-head records, CSK have got the better of their southern neighbours with a 14-7 record in the 22 games that have been played between them. The 'Yellow Army' had also defeated the Bangalore franchise in the final of the 2011 edition by 58 runs to retain their title. However, it is a new season and both teams will be looking forward to write a new chapter.
Apart from the southern derby clash or the 'Clash of The Titans' Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, there are a few interesting things to look forward to in this mouth-watering encounter
1. Virat Kohli's Hat-Trick of Records: The RCB skipper will be aiming to become the IPL's leading run scorer on Saturday. Kohli who has scored 4,948 runs from 163 matches will look to edge past CSK's Suresh Raina who is currently the top run-getter with 4,985 runs in 176 matches. At the same time, Kohli will also look to equal David Warner's record of most 50-plus scores in IPL. Warner has gone past 50 on 39 occasions while Kohli has done it on 38 occasions. Kohli also became the first player to score 4,000 IPL runs in the 2016 season and he will now be aiming to be the first player to get to the 5,000 runs club.
2. Abundance of Experience: CSK is one of the teams which boasts of experience. Most of their players are on the other side of their 30's and have played a lot of Cricket at the international level for their respective countries. These big names include skipper MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayadu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Kedhar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh to name a few.
3. Combination of Youth and Experience: While CSK has experience on their side, Kohli's brigade has a combination of both youth as well as experience. While the experience consists of skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, etc. The youth consists of promising cricketers like Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Colin de Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, etc.
4. Home Advantage: The 'Yellow Army' have always got the better of RCB whenever the two teams have faced off each other at Chepauk including the 2011 final. Since the inception of IPL, the Bangalore outfit have managed to beat CSK only once in their fortress. This dates back to their very first encounter in 2008.
5. The 50-club: MA Chidambaram stadium will be hosting its 50th IPL game tonight. By the virtue of this, Chennai will also become the sixth venue to host 50 or more IPL matches. The other venues include Bengaluru (74), Kolkata (70), Delhi (67), Mumbai (66) and Hyderabad (56) respectively.