In the rich history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) have been the two most successful franchises winning a combined nine titles out of the Fourteen completed IPL seasons.
From Sachin Tendulkar to MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma to Suresh Raina, the biggest superstars of the game have represented either side in the cash-rich league. Therefore, picking a combined XI of the two teams is challenging. However, former Indian cricketer Nikhil Chopra has come up with his all-time CSK-MI combined XI.
Chopra firstly picked legendary Tendulkar, lauding the ‘Master Blaster’ for his consistent performances for more than two decades. He then went with Shane Watson and Rohit Sharma for their immense contributions to CSK and MI, respectively.
“For me, Master Blaster [Sachin Tendulkar] across all the formats and eras is best. Then Watson and Rohit, due to their contributions to help their respective teams to win the matches,” said Chopra as quoted by CricTracker.
To complete the middle-order and all-rounders, Chopra selected Raina, Michael Hussey, Hardik Pandya, Dhoni, and Ravindra Jadeja, with Dhoni as the captain of the team. Amongst the bowlers, the cricketer-turned-commentator went with Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravichandran Ashwin (12th man).
“I think Harbhajan Singh can come in place of Jadeja or Ashwin due to his variations, which is unbelievable as a bowler. I have seen him from up-close and feel he is one of the finest across all formats. If there is an injury concern, Kieron Pollard may come into my side due to his proven performances to win the games for MI. Over these years, both the franchises have not changed their core team, which is one of the reasons for their success,” added Chopra.
Here is Nikhil Chopra’s all-time CSK-MI combined XI:
Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Watson, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Michael Hussey, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin (12th man)