IPL 2024: It's a clash of superstars more than franchises, says Manjrekar on CSK v RCB opener

Mumbai, Feb 22 (IANS): Mahendra Singh Dhoni's defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Former India cricket Sanjay Manjrekar has termed it a clash of superstars more than a battle of franchises because of the big names on both sides.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, Manjrekar spoke on the major takeaway from the tournament opener – CSK vs RCB.

He said, “I think the champion’s team should play the first match, and CSK deservingly are in the first game. Ideally, it should have been last year's finalist who should have played against them but I think there is a good reason to have this opener. Because what you are seeing now is a clash of the superstars, more than the franchises, it's Dhoni versus Virat, isn't it?”

Manjrekar also spoke on how the CSK squad will approach the tournament opener and the impact that Dhoni will have on the squad this season.

He said, “Absolutely, just as there is a preamble to the tournament, that happens in the auction, the mini-auction that just happened, once again, such smart buys by CSK, they've got Darryl Mitchell now in the team, and I think that's going to make a huge difference. And MS Dhoni will do his thing, he'll show us that captaincy that has such a huge impact just like last season.

"With the role that MS Dhoni had last season, it's clear to see that Captaincy in the IPL is so important. As a batter, he contributed a bit, but for the youngsters and inexperienced players he makes them Champions, that's his speciality,” said Manjrekar.

About the big clash on Sunday, March 24, between Gujarat Giants, the 2022 winners and last season's finalists, and five-time champions Mumbai Indians, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer called it a fixture to look forward to and said it will be a key clash for both Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, Wasim Jaffer said, “It will be the first game for Shubman Gill as the captain of Gujarat Titans. And for Mumbai, Hardik (Pandya) is coming back and leading so it will be mixed emotions for Mumbai Indians fans. We can expect that it will be a full house that day with almost 120,000 people, that's a fixture to look forward to.”

Jaffer also said, “I think Hardik Pandya will look to get this out straight away, and if he gets one win he will set an example of how he's leading by example. He will be looking to stamp his authority in the game.”



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Title: IPL 2024: It's a clash of superstars more than franchises, says Manjrekar on CSK v RCB opener

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