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Can Dhoni beat Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium?

Chennai Super Kings are on a roll. With seven consecutive wins, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men look like the team to beat in the Pepsi Indian Premier
League. The two-time champions take on Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium today, where hosts have been unbeatable in four games.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard during practice at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Pic/ Suresh KK

Dhoni is known to be a history maker. He will have to do something of that sort when CSK clash with MI. In all the four editions (second edition was played in South Africa in 2009), Chennai are yet to break the Mumbai jinx. Dhoni’s men are yet to win a league match at the Wankhede.

Overall, Mumbai have done well against Chennai, winning seven out of 12 matches. In the last three outings, Mumbai proved to be the dominant team.
Though Mumbai have emerged triumphant at home on all occasions against Chennai, the latter had the last laugh when it mattered most — beating Mumbai in the final at DY Patil Stadium in 2010.

Fleming determined
Coach Stephen Fleming is determined to make Mumbai a happy hunting ground for Chennai. “Games in Mumbai are quite special for our players. They enjoy coming here and playing. Chennai and Mumbai have a little bit of history already. They have hard fought good games and Mumbai had the better of us. So, we are very determined to play well here,” Fleming said ahead of their net session on Saturday.

The former New Zealand skipper said Chennai have taken extra efforts this season to do well in away fixtures. “It really adds to the competition when you go away when it’s a tough game with a tough crowd. This year we have made a real effort to be good travellers and we have been doing it well.
‘I love it’

“The majority of the Indian players in our side know this ground pretty well, but look in terms of crowd support and parochialism towards your home team, I love it,” he said.¬†Chennai’s seven-match winning spree started with their away win against Delhi Daredevils on April 18. Two days later, they thumped defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. CSK then won three at home before beating Pune Warriors (in Pune) on April 30 and Kings XI Punjab at Chepauk on last Thursday.

Fleming is happy with Chennai’s consistency, but he is still looking out for that perfect performance. ¬†“It is a good run. It’s a little bit different to the other campaigns we have been part of, where we have been a bit of stop and start. We have been very consistent this year. But we haven’t been dominant. We still have got our challenges.

“Within the side, we know we need to get better. And in someway that is driving us forward, looking for that perfect performance. We are comfortable as a team but by no means are we complacent or satisfied with where we are at,” Fleming said.¬†

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