So, guys, the wait is finally over! The most awaited Indian Premier League is starting at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on April 7 between Chennai Super Kings, which was banned for two years and finally making a comeback, and Mumbai Indians, who are defending champions.
Both sides seem to be very strong theoretically and are all set to get the perfect start. Obviously, Mumbai Indians will have much pressure as they won the title last year. On the other side, Chennai will want to claim their winning strike back and start from where they left in 2015.
Before mega auctions on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore, Mumbai retained Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, and Hardik Pandya and used right to match for Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya during the auction. Mumbai bought Ishan Kishan for whopping 6.2 Cr. INR. They also bought Mustafizur Rahman, Evin Lewis, and Pat Cummins.
On the other side, Chennai managed to retain Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, and Suresh Raina and used right to match for Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. They bought Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Murali Vijay. In pace bowling, they have a lot of power with Mark Wood and Lungi Ndidi.
- Mumbai Indians won last three matches against CSK.
- This time, Mumbai Indians are the host. It means they have won 5 out of 8 matches on their home ground last season.
- Mumbai may start on a low note but will get into the flow after some time.
MI vs. CSK – Live Streaming/Where to Watch
In IPL 2018, the opening fixture will witness two-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians. The match is scheduled at 8 pm (Local time) at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on April 7.
Streaming on – Sky GO, OSN Play, bet365, and Hotstar
TV channels – Sky Sports, Star Sports, Fox Sports, and OSN Sports Cricket HD
At Wankhede, the wicket assists bowlers more during the second half. At this ground, four of last six matches in T20 format won by the team which batted first. So, the team who wins the toss may choose to bat first.
This year, Rohit Sharma will be the skipper and the team retained Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah from a previous season. The team also added Evin Lewis. It means they could have a new opening pair with a bat.
Keiron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Evin Lewis and Hardik Pandya are going to be the big guns in batting. In the IPL, Rohit Sharma is the third highest run-scorer, while Pollard, Lewis, and Pandya took time to prove themselves to be destructive in the shortest format of the game.
Mumbai Indians have great pace attack in Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins, and Mustafizur Rahman. Bumrah can pick early wickets with a new ball and keep things tight.
Mumbai Indians tops the points table at the end of a league with ten wins and 4 losses out of 14 matches. In the first qualifier, they lost to Rising Pune Supergiant before outperforming Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier.
Predicted 11 Players
Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Mustafizur Rahman, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, and Jasprit Bumrah.
If Mumbai Indians bat first
Score predicted – around 180 or higher
Usually, the pitch at Wankhede is great for batting, where it has nothing for the bowlers. When Ishan Kishan and Evin Lewis may open the batting, a lot of runs may be scored in a powerplay. Lewis could change the game if he gets going.
Ishan Kishan will play another fiddle and offer anchor to the innings. The middle order of Mumbai seems promising with Pandya brothers, Rohit Sharma as captain, and Kieron Pollard. The bowling lineup is very strong and defending champions could score 180 or above.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings is making a comeback after serving a ban for two years. This time, MS Dhoni is at the helm. The franchise also retained all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja, apart from batsmen Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina.
CSK’s batting lineup will depend mostly on the likes of Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay on the top and captain MS Dhoni in mid order. With 4540 runs, Raina is a top run-getter and an expert in T20 format. In bowling lineup, Imran Tahir and Dwayne Bravo are the threats to the opposition. Bravo is one of the five wicket-takers in IPL and he will be the game changer for the CSK as he doesn’t let batsmen get runs easily.
Appeared last time in 2015, Chennai Super Kings is back with a bang this season. It has got the better of RCB in the second Qualifier but couldn’t face Mumbai Indians in the final.
Playing 11 Predicted
MS Dhoni (wk/c), Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, and Mark Wood.
If CSK bats first
Predicted score – Over 160 runs
The Chennai Super Kings has a more experienced squad but they don’t have enough of big hitters. To go big, they will be roping in Suresh Raina from the moment he comes out in the pitch. Murali Vijay and Shane Watson may open the batting and Raina may come in No.3 and Dhoni at No. 4.
In this side, Kedar Jadhav will be the finisher. They could get up to 160 to 170 runs with this batting lineup. It could be the best score for them.
Mumbai Indians vs. Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians played 22 matches against one another in IPL history with MI leading the scoreline by 12-10. These two sides faced off last time in the 2015 IPL final which was won by Mumbai Indians by 41 runs.
Usually, Mumbai Indians are slow beginners but they will get off to the winning streak this time against a side they did really well against before, defeating in two finals. Defending champions would come out on top in the opener with strong batting lineup.