Captains crucial in RCB-CSK clash

Virat Kohli (left) and M S Dhoni

One of the interesting sub-plots in Wednesday’s high-profile clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings is the battle of the two skippers — Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The two captains, who are as different as the chalk is from the cheese, cherish the big battles and have more often than not delivered that has seen them attain cult status. Both also love to perform against each other.

Kohli, part of RCB ever since IPL started a decade ago before being named the captain in 2013, has found the extra gear while turning up against Super Kings. In the 20 games he has featured between the two sides, Kohli has amassed 706 runs — the most against any franchise — slamming six half-centuries in the process.

Dhoni, the skipper of CSK from their very first game, has almost matched Kohli. In the 23 matches — including the four games he played for RPS in 2016 and 2017 — he has competed against RCB, Dhoni has scored 608 runs with two fifties with a highest score of 70.

The pressure though will be high on Kohli as compared to Dhoni come Wednesday. CSK have won four out of five games so far in this season and Dhoni has found different men to carry the team past the finish line on all those occasions. 

Compare that to Kohli and the Delhiite has his task cut out. The team is heavily reliant on him and AB de Villiers and he has been burning the midnight oil trying to get his leaky bowling attack in order. The need to win weighs more heavily on Kohli’s mind but the 29-year-old has hardly failed to deliver.

CSK coach Steven Fleming, one of the game’s calmest minds, felt the rivalry between the two captains was intense a few years ago but has mellowed down now. “I don't think it is as big a subplot as what it was maybe years back. So it is going to be a good contest with two of India’s finest players who are captaining teams. It makes for a great game, that's for sure. But in terms of any other extra pressure or anything, nothing. It’s just a good contest.”

Kohli has a great amount of respect for Dhoni, even stating that he needs the Jharkhandi by his side with the Indian team until the 2019 World Cup. But on Wednesday, both will be trying to outdo each other.

 

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Captains crucial in RCB-CSK clash

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