Saturday, May 31, 2008

Battle of Kings; battle of Singhs!

By John Cheeran
So the stage is set for the second semifinal in the IPL between two Kings. Chennai Super Kings and King's XI Punjab.
It is quite likely that Mumbai crowd will again get under the skin of Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh. The Mumbai crowd now have added reason to frustrate Yuvraj after the pugnacious Punjab skipper berated Mumbaikar's for their partisan attitude and Mumbai Indians effectively lost their chances to enter the semifinal thanks to some outstanding fielding efforts from Punjab. That nail biting contest in which Mumbai Indians frittered away their winning position by committing five run outs happened at this very same Wankhede Stadium and the crowd would love nothing better than humbling Punjab Kings.
It is also at another level a fight between two emerging leaders in Indian cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni might have pipped Yuvraj to the Indian team captaincy, but here Yuvraj gets an ideal opportunity to show that his fiery attitude too can bring about success compared with MSD's air conditioned approach to things on an off the field.
These - Punjab and Chennai - are really two strong teams. Both rely on outside talent to define their performance. Punjab mightily depends on the Aussie Shaun Marsh to get an explosive start. Chennai's great local guns such as Badarinath has not boomed for some time now.
I have a sneaky feeling that both captains will come out something special tonight at Wankhede to set up the title clash with Rajasthan Royals.

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