The Indian Premier League (IPL) will be entering its 14th season when the 2021 edition begins on April 9. The tournament will begin with a clash between Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians (MI). The match will certainly generate a lot of hype because this battle is something that fans always look forward to.
But, over the years, there are many rival teams that have emerged in the IPL. For example, the stakes are always a little high when Mumbai is playing Chennai or when Chennai plays their South Indian rivals Bangalore.
With the upcoming season around the corner, it is a good time to look back at some of these interesting rivalries which the league has produced. Some of these rivalries generate massive amounts of interest in the fans. It is almost like Manchester United vs Chelsea in football or any other derby.
Here are the top 5 team battles in the IPL:
1. Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
In the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008, during the early stages of the league, Mumbai visited Chennai for an evening match at the iconic Chepauk stadium. A Sachin Tendulkar-less Mumbai went down by just six runs against Dhoni’s men. Since then, the two teams have played many memorable matches, like the finals of 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2019.
In addition to that, these two teams are the most successful teams in the league. Chennai has won the IPL three times (2010, 2011, and 2018) while Mumbai has won the competition five times (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020). The two teams have faced each other in the IPL 30 times. Mumbai have won 18 clashes while Chennai has won 12 matches.
Even though Mumbai is leading, in terms of numbers, Chennai was a much dominant force in the early seasons. The two teams have always had the best of players. MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Dwayne Bravo have been major stars over the years for Chennai while Mumbai has had Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, and Sachin Tendulkar. And then, there are players like Ambati Rayudu, Michael Hussey, and Harbhajan Singh who have represented both teams.
2. Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
The first-ever match of the IPL was played between KKR and RCB in 2008 at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Brendon McCullum smashed 158 runs from 73 balls and decimated the hopes of the RCB fans. Bangalore lost that match by 140 runs, but in the years to come, the Southern Indian-based team has come and played some hard cricket against Kolkata.
The two teams have played 26 matches in total in the IPL, in which Kolkata edges past Bangalore in the number of wins, with 14. The two teams have played some of the best matches in the IPL. Even though they have not competed against each other in the playoffs, they have individually qualified many times.
At one point the two teams were led by two Delhi hotheads, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. Kolkata has the edge over Bangalore as they have won two IPL titles. Bangalore have qualified for finals three times but never won the competition. Kolkata also has the record of restricting Bangalore to its lowest ever score of 49.
3. Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings
These two teams are the only ones along with RCB, who are yet to get their hands on an IPL title. Delhi and Punjab are the two teams who compete from the North and their contests are often known as the North India derby. Both the teams have played several tight matches against each other. In fact, the first-ever match, played in Mohali, was a thriller and ended in a last-over win for Punjab.
The two teams have one similarity, as they have both made it to the final once each, but had lost the summit clash. Delhi was beaten by Mumbai in the 2020 final while Punjab had gone down dramatically against Kolkata in the 2014 final. In terms of head-to-head clashes, Punjab has a better record than Delhi.
Punjab has won 15 out of the 26 matches, while Delhi has won 11. In the recent most IPL season, the two teams played out one of the most dramatic super over clashes, which was won by Delhi. As the IPL 2021 is nearing, the fans from Northern India will hope that they see a couple of intense battles between the two sides.
4. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Hyderabad has had two franchises over the course of all these years. They were previously known as Deccan Chargers, but after the change in owners, they were renamed as Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both the teams hold one thing in common, they have both beaten RCB in an IPL final. Sunrisers did it in 2016 while Deccan had done that in 2009.
The Hyderabad teams have had an edge over the Bangalore teams. Sunrisers have won 10 out of the 18 clashes while Deccan had won 6 out of the 11 matches. The fact the two teams are from similar regions, fans are more engaged in these battles. The teams have also had two fierce captains in recent times.
David Warner and Virat Kohli are two of the most dynamic players in world cricket at this moment. Sunrisers had edged past Bangalore in the IPL 2020 by beating them in the eliminator. The two have also produced several interesting games and contests.
5. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians
The first match between these two teams was a thrilling contest at the old Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Mark Boucher of RCB bailed them out of a tough situation to get them to victory. In the years to come, the two teams have played some really riveting matches. In fact, the two had faced each other in a final of the 2011 Champions League T20 as well.
Over the years, the rise of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in international cricket has also added more interest in the matches. In recent years, it has become more like the Kohli vs Sharma battle which creates the hype around the contests. But, Mumbai has dominated the rivalry over the 14 seasons of the IPL.
In 27 clashes between these two teams, Mumbai has won 17 while Bangalore has managed 10 wins. There is a certain interest behind this contest each year, also because both the teams have passionate fans and produce a wild celebration crowd at their respective home grounds, whenever there is a match between the two teams.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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