MI vs CSK IPL rivalry
Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings is IPL equivalent of El Clasico: Rohit Sharma

Game 15 of the 2019 IPL between the two teams to have won the trophy three times, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, has been likened by Rohit Sharma to the famous El Clasico football clash between arch rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

The two IPL giants – CSK are defending champions – meet each other at the Wankhede Stadium today and Rohit, speaking to GQ, termed the match-up as the biggest IPL rivalry.

“IPL has always been a festival. People in India enjoy it, enjoy it as in they go crazy. I see the culture of Premier League coming to India,” he said. “Not now, but in the next five to ten years – eventually it is going there.

I’m not talking about fights, but the passion that we see in a Liverpool vs Man United game or you know the El Clasico, it is the same when Mumbai and Chennai play in India. And you can make out these things especially from the overseas players.” (Can Mumbai Indians stop Chennai Super Kings’ juggernaut at Wankhede?)

Mumbai and Chennai have met 26 times in T20 cricket, with the head-to-head record in Mumbai’s favour with 14 wins.

Rohit felt that Mumbai’s greatest rival was the MS Dhoni-led franchise.

“I think they are one of the most successful teams. This is their tenth year and they have been in the playoffs in all the nine years. That tells us something,” he said. “CSK has won three trophies, we have three. I’m not saying that the Mumbai Indian versus Chennai Super Kings rivalry is big because people love it, but mainly because of the tussle these two teams have whenever they meet. You know that’s probably the reason why it is one of the most watched IPL games of the season.”

In IPL 2019, Chennai are runaway leaders with three wins in a row while Rohit’s team is at seventh place with one win from three games.