CSK vs MI: Chennai have a knack of saving their best for big games, writes Mark Waugh

Chennai Super Kings needed three results to go in their favour to reach the IPL playoffs and many would consider them lucky to have qualified, writes Mark Waugh in Hindustan Times, adding that luck has often favoured the MS Dhoni-led franchise, but one must not forget that they have been the most successful franchise.

“All-rounders like Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel and Ravindra Jadeja add depth to their batting and the arrival of the in-form Ben Hilfenhaus strengthens the pace attack. Chennai have a knack of saving their best for the big games, and though they tottered their way to the playoffs, they are the favourites now!,” writes Waugh.

Meanwhile Stephen Fleming writes in Hindustan Times that there has been talk about Chennai being lucky but CSK see it as a fact that they had the right amount of wins and a higher run-rate. “The fact we finished early and that the others weren’t good enough to go past us is not luck.  There was cheer in the camp when we got through but, there was also quiet determination that we now have an opportunity to make it three in a row,” writes Fleming, adding CSK have been here before and know what it takes to win from here and win the competition, so the pressure is less on us.

“My focus will be on two key factors — anticipation and expectation. After coming so close to missing out on the excitement, harnessing the enthusiasm into a great performance is the number one goal.”

Mumbai are our sole focus as we understand their qualities and how good we will have to be. If we do win, we will change our focus to a home game shootout with the winner of the first game. Exciting times!

Kumar Sangakarra writes in Times Of India that Deccan Chargers were pleased to finish with two wins at Hyderabad against Rajasthan and Bangalore. “It must have been heart-breaking for Bangalore fans and you feel sorry for them, but we really wanted to give our loyal fans something to cheer about.     The atmosphere in the stadium for that final game was electric and I and the players are so grateful for such passionate support. It is not easy following a losing team, but they stayed right behind us throughout and that is really exciting for the future,” he writes adding that despite the losses and being knocked out early there were some real positives this year, I felt.

“We batted pretty well throughout with Shikhar Dhawan, Cameron White and JP Duminy. Akshat Reddy was also impressive. I was disappointed with my batting performances though.”