Bengaluru, May 22: Two-time champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on two-time runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the second qualifier of the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) at the JSCA Cricket Stadium in Ranchi on Friday night.
The winner of this match will play Mumbai Indians (MI) in the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 24. While the RCB thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs in the eliminator in Pune on Wednesday, the CSK went down to the MI by 25 runs in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The second qualifier will be special for it will be an encounter between the two captains of India's national cricket team. While CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the captain of India in one-days and T20s, RCB captain Virat Kohli is the new leader of India's Test side after Dhoni stepped down in Australia last December.
What are the similarities and differences between the two captains that will separate the winner from the loser in the match today?
MSD more experienced than Virat
MS Dhoni is certainly more experienced that Kohli in terms of captaincy. He has been captaining India in various forms of the game for almost eight years now. Kohli's international career is seven years and he is yet to make a significant mark on captaincy records. In IPL, Dhoni has led the CSK to five finals and lifted the trophy twice. Kohli is yet to achieve any such feat.
Captain Cool versus Captain Hot
The nature of the two captains are exact opposites. While Dhoni is known for his cool temperament (his dissent over the dismissal of Dwayne Smith after losing the qualifier against the MI is an exception of sort), Kohli often makes the headlines for his on-field outbursts. The one who can have a better control over the emotions in the dying stages of the game will be better placed to get through it.
Virat Kohli has yet to prove himself as an 'achiever' captain
Unlike Dhoni, who is a tested captain and has given his teams (whether national or IPL) several trophies. Kohli is yet to shed his beginner's tag and hence has a lot to prove. This can prove to be an extra pressure on him.
MSD more unpredictable than Kohli
Experience makes Dhoni more unpredictable on the field. Kohli follows a more set pattern. This can make the battle more intense.
McCullum's absence a disadvantage for MSD; Gayle-de Villiers Kohli's assets
The departure of Brendon McCullum has undoubtedly weakened CSK's opening partnership while Kohli's team enjoys the fact that both Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers are in good form. But again, the CSK bat deep down the order while the RCB are a bit too dependent on the top 3.
Home ground advantage for MSD
Ranchi will be an advantage for Dhoni since it is his hometown. And if the wicket too favours turn, CSK spinners will come into play. RCB will bank on the likes of Mitchell Starc. But if the wicket favours spinners, Kohli will have to come up with something smarter.