Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya has proclaimed that, somehow, all Mumbai players tend to bring their ‘A’ game out versus Chennai and wished for the same to continue in the matches to come. MI coach Jayawardene also echoed Pandya and claimed that MI players thrive under pressure.
While Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings is rightfully considered the single biggest rivalry in the Indian Premier League, the side from the west have surprisingly had a historical edge over the Men in Yellow. Mumbai have won 18 of their 30 H2H games versus CSK and three of the Blues’ four IPL title wins also came at the expense of the Super Kings, who they beat in the final in 2013, 2015 and 2019.
This record has, of course, been rendered possible thanks to several of their players stepping it up in the crunch game, and in a video posted by MI’s official Twitter handle, Hardik Pandya, the franchise’s star all-rounder who rose to fame by smashing Pawan Negi for 3 sixes in a do-or-die game versus CSK in 2015, proudly proclaimed the same and hoped for the trend to continue.
"It has become a game which people look forward to. It is one of the two franchises that are most loved by the fans and that is how it becomes special. I do not know. we all will get our A-game out when we are playing against CSK and I wish we always do that," Hardik Pandya said in a video posted by Mumbai’s official Twitter handle.
A large part of the club’s success over the past three years has been the influence of their coach Mahela Jayawardene who, in three years, has delivered the franchise two IPL titles. The Sri Lankan echoed Pandya’s words about the MI players rising up to the occasion and stated that his boys thrive under pressure.
"To beat a team like this (CSK) or compete against a team like this you really have to lift your game. And naturally I think all the boys do that. As a franchise I think it's something we thrive on as well."
Meanwhile, in the same video, Rohit Sharma, the architect of Mumbai Indians’ dynasty, called MI vs CSK the ‘El Clasico of IPL’ but asserted that his side would treat the curtain-raiser on Saturday like ‘just another game’.
"Playing against CSK is always fun, we enjoy that battle. But when we play the game it is just another opposition for us and that is how we want to move forward," said the Mumbai skipper.