El Clasico of the South

Ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) came into the foray in 2008, the rivalry between two teams representing India’s southern cities, Chennai and Bengaluru, has emerged as one of the grueling battles in the much-fancied cricketing plethora.

How it began?
In the inaugural edition of IPL, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni played a blistering knock of 65 off 30 deliveries at Bengaluru to win the first IPL match of an upcoming rivalry. In the return leg, Royal Challengers Bangalore leveled a draw thanks to Anil Kumble’s brilliant bowling figure of 4-0-14-3 to snatch a narrow 12-run win against CSK at Chennai. It was the only time when RCB could hand out Chennai a defeat in front of the yellow sea of people.

CSK roars
The sweetest derby moment for CSK came in the final of 2011 when Chennai thumped RCB by 58 runs to clinch their maiden IPL trophy. Murali Vijay’s brilliant 95 off just 52 balls with four boundaries and six over boundaries helped CSK to post 205 runs on the scoreboard. Under immense pressure, Challengers choked.

In 2012, Challengers posted a mammoth 205 runs, their highest IPL score against CSK. While Chennai was struggling to get hold of the match and needed 43 runs off 2 overs, RCB skipper, Daniel Vettori, made a huge gamble to give the penultimate over to young Virat Kohli. Albie Morkel thrashed Kohli for 28 runs to win it for CSK.

The Southern El-Clasico drenched emotions at the highest in 2013 when CSK needed 16 runs in the final over to scale RCB’s 165. RP Singh was gone for 10 runs in first two deliveries, and ultimately the equation came down to 2 runs off the final bowl. Ravindra Jadeja gave a simple catch in the third boundary and expectedly RCB team was celebrating but a huge overstepping by RP Singh meant CSK once again showed their supremacy over RCB.

RCB Challenges

However, RCB tasted the knock-out stage success over CSK when they rode on Manish Pandey’s 48 runs off 35 balls to pip Chennai by six wickets in the 2009 IPL semi-final in Durban.

To keep themselves alive in the tournament in 2013, RCB players ignited their performances in the derby, with Virat Kohli scoring an unbeaten 56 runs off 29 balls. His innings helped RCB to score 106 for 2 in 8 overs in a rain-curtailed game. CSK fell 24 runs short of target and home supporters erupted in ecstasy avenging first-leg heartbreak.

The ‘Rivalry’
Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier faced off 20 times in the IPL and the yellow brigade holds the edge with 12-8 win/loss record against RCB. While CSK won six games, the Bangalore counterpart managed to be victorious only once at the at M. A. Chidambaram stadium.

In the knock-stage, CSK leads the chart with a 3-1 win-loss record.

What’s next?
After two-year suspension period, the Chennai franchise is making a comeback in the IPL 2018 and they look to consolidate their dominance over their Southern opponents.

Whereas, RCB is booed by the CSK followers for poor performance in the IPL over the years. While CSK won IPL titles twice and qualified for the knockout stage every year, star-studded RCB is yet to hold the winners’ trophy, qualifying only four times in the knockout stage.

However, Virat Kohli-led RCB is bolstered with several key players who can change the complexion of the match anytime.

RCB has a slight upper hand over the CSK in winning the Orange Cap, with their captain Virat Kohli emerging as the record run scorer in the 2016 IPL with 973 runs. RCB players have won the Orange cap thrice, while CSK players have won twice.

On the other hand, CSK’s strong bowling attack is evident from the three consecutive Purple caps their players have won in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.

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