The IPL's two most successful teams – Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings – will kickstart IPL 2020 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. Ahead of the big-ticket clash and what is widely being termed as the 'El Classico' of IPL mainly because of the rich history between these two sides, former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was asked to name the 'favourites.'
Ganguly did not directly name a side but agreed it will be a tight match between MI and CSK.
"It's a bit difficult to name the favourite (for today's match), both of them are very good teams. These two have won the IPL most number of times," Ganguly told Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika.
As far as numbers and head-to-head records are concerned the four-time champions Mumbai Indians have far better numbers than MS Dhoni's CSK. The Rohit Sharma-led side had beaten CSK four times in last season itself. And they would be looking to start on the right note this time around too.
CSK, on the other hand, will have a fresh MS Dhoni, who will be raring to go after a long break from cricket.
Reacting to the occasion of IPL being played in UAE because of the Covid situation in India, Ganguly said it will be different this year.
"Everything is fine so far. Now the wait is for cricket to begin.
"The current situation is very challenging. But challenges are there in everyone's life. This IPL will be a lot different this year. I'll hope everything goes well. We've had to prepare everything fro scratch because of Covid, have had to create a completely new system. The health and medical security will be of utmost importance," Ganguly said.
Meanwhile, when Sachin Tendulkar was asked to react on the MI vs CSK rivalry, he said for any tournament to be successful you need rivals.
"For any tournament to succeed you need rivalries. Mumbai Indians, as well as Chennai Super Kings, have a very very strong fan base. Both are extremely competitive.
"There have been occasions where you know Mumbai Indians were pushed badly in a corner and we've been able to pull through and win that game and the same thing has happened also with Chennai Super Kings. It makes that competition unpredictable and when there is an element of unpredictability people get glued to the television sets that is the beauty of any sport. But when it's played at the highest level and so fiercely competitive people like to see that and this year also it's not going to be any different," Sachin added.