Kolkata, May 25: The Trans-Tasman rivalry had concluded in favour of Australia on March 29, when the final of the ICC World Cup was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia beat New Zealand, who were unbeatable till that match, by 7 wickets to win their fifth World Cup crown.
On May 24, the Eden Gardens in Kolkata saw yet another Trans-Tasman rivalry ending in favour of Australia. It's a double defeat for New Zealand inside two months.
On May 24, the Mumbai Indians (MI) coached by two-time World Cup champion Ricky Ponting defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK), served by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming as the coach, in the final of the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League by 41 runs to lift their second crown.
Ponting (229) and Fleming (218) have led the most number of matches for their respective countries and were known for their captaincy skills. Although Ponting has a far-more successful record (165 wins, 76.14 per cent success), but Fleming is by far the most consistent and successful captain New Zealand has produced (98 wins, success rate 48.04).
But Ponting proved to be the better opponent this time as the MI went on to beat CSK thrice in four encounters played this season.
There is, however, a similarity between these two captains from the Southern Hemisphere as far as the IPL is concerned. Both had tried their lucks in the IPL as players first but failed to make any mark despite their renowned success in international cricket (both Ponting and Fleming are the highest scorers in Tests and one-day internationals for their respective countries).
Fleming took over as the coach of the CSK after failing to fire in the inaugural season of 2008 while Ponting, after two unsuccessful stints with the Kolkata Knight Riders and MI, gave up his captaincy and was subsequently made the head coach. It was in the same 2013 edition that MI saw a transition in leadership from Ponting to Rohit Sharma and still went on to win their maiden IPL crown.
In 2015, MI had a forgettable start to the tournament with four straight losses but yet it went on to win the trophy for the second time. The same Ponting was the coach.
Fleming, on the other hand, although ended up on the losing side this time, but he is one who has seen his team play the tournament most consistently. The CSK have made the IPL finals six time with two victories. For MS Dhoni's men, the low-profile coach who has a sea of experience under his belt, has proved to be a lucky charm.