Last September in South Africa, the Chennai Super Kings started their campaign against the 'Kiwi' Central Stags and the 'Lankan' Wayambas. CSK wasted no time in brushing aside the little teams. We had a couple of good starters which, despite a heart-breaking tie against Bush Rangers, gave us an enormous appetite to win and the rest is History - CSK was crowned 'The Champion of Champions' in the Golden city of Jo'berg.
No such luxury of 'starters' this time around. A glance at the teams grouped in Pool-A would tell you there are neither any clear favorites nor any push-overs.
Chennai Super Kings - The defending Champions - the most successful, decorated and respected IPL team world over.
NSW Blues - 2009 Champions - a case where the team's might and legacy precedes the team.
Trinidad & Tobago - The bunch of ruthless energetic men with never-say-die attitude.
Mumbai Indians - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, SRT & SRT and the perpetual title favorites every time for the Rest of India.
Cape Cobras came up with outrageous batting display in the 2009 edition. They also have the world's best fast bowler of our times in their line up.
It is only too poetic a match that the CSK defends its Champions League title at it's fortress. Will CSK hold the fort? Well, let us analyze what is in the store.
CSK vs Cape Cobras - Pounce CSK!
We have defeated Proteas clubs on their home pitches. CSK should win this one with a decent margin, should we reach the Semi-finals!
CSK vs NSW - 'El Classico'
The match of the two crowned Champions. NSW is too good a team to bank heavily on our home advantage. It's just the case of which team pips the other. The victory/defeat margin will be very marginal.
Also, it might as well come down to whether Bollinger has read his Provincial mates better or the other way around.
CSK vs MI - Fratricide unavoidable
We start our campaign against this team. With the Little Master's availability uncertain, we MUST start our campaign on a positive note.
CSK vs TNT - Fire & Ice
This, according to me, would be THE match of this year's Champions League. As the popular saying goes, the Unstoppable Force will take on the Immovable Object.
Will Dhoni and his men deflect the relentless attack from the Men from the Caribbean? Will Dhoni, cool as ever, put out the burning flame inside the men from Trinidad?
Will CSK stand tall and united and not disperse under the waves of aggression?
With Hussey and Raina in red-hot form our frontline looks strong as ever. These are very positive signs.
Badri will be our anchor and the opponent's coup-de-grace shall be administered by Mr. Morkel in the 'death'.
Reinforcement, rather 'replacement' for the injured Southee should arrive on time. Remember, the Castle should never be breached!
Ashwin-Bollinger attack is expected to carry forward their excellent track record.
While putting in our best effort and with the blessings from Goddess Fortuna, yes, we can defend our title.
Wishing CSK nothing but the best!