The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League will begin on a lively note with an opening ceremony and a much-anticipated match between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
Coming into the IPL after two years of suspension, Chennai Super Kings will be led by the captain cool M.S. Dhoni. CSK fans thronged the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium to back their superstars when the practice sessions were held in Chennai.
The rivalry between these two teams is quite well known. Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL twice while Mumbai Indians has won three times. Both the teams have played 22 matches against each other. Mumbai Indians has won 12 times while Chennai Super Kings has won 10. The last time the two teams met was in 2015.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians and and two-time winners Chennai Super Kings, the most successful teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL), will begin the 11th edition of the Twenty20 tournament with a mouthwatering clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
CSK have a formidable track record in the IPL and have notched up the most number of appearances in the final. Apart from winning the title twice, they have finished runners-up on four occasions.
Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings Team:
Chennai Super Kings: M.S. Dhoni (Captain and wicket-keeper), K.M. Asif, Sam Billings, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, N. Jagadeesan, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Lungi Ngidi, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kanishk Seth, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson and Mark Wood.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Akila Dhananjaya, J.P. Duminy, Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Sharad Lamba, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, MD Nidheesh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Aditya Tare, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav.
My playing XI would be:
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, M.S. Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Lungi Ngidi or Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Mark Wood and Karn Sharma.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, J.P. Duminy or Ben Cutting, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ishan Kishan or Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy or Rahul Chahar and Pradeep Sangwan
Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: 4 key match Players
Rohit vs Dhoni
MS Dhoni might’ve got his hands on every ICC trophy, but a lot of the credit for his popularity as ‘Captain Cool’ has to be attributed to his excellence as a leader in the IPL. The 36-year-old has twice led CSK to the title, in 2010 and ’11. Those years will, perhaps, go down as the keeper-batsman’s best. When he emerged as a world beater and was almost invincible in white-ball cricket.
As surprising as it is, though, Rohit has already led MI to the title twice. The 30-year-old has been phenomenal for his team as a skipper, contributing heavily with the bat as well as his decision-making.
With Dhoni leading a side after a long time, it’ll be an absorbing battle of wits between him and Rohit on Saturday.
Hardik vs DJ Bravo
Both are fast-bowling all-rounders, right-handers, showmen, and absolute match-winners. Not just in the opening game, Hardik Pandya and Dwayne Bravo will play pivotal roles for their respective teams throughout the tournament. ‘Champion’ DJ Bravo redefined the use of a slower ball during CSK’s heydays. The Trinidadian’s contributions with the ball, and occasionally with the bat, guided his team to umpteen victories. The 34-year-old is the leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket, with with 413 victims from 375 matches.
Hardik, on the other hand, is Indian cricket’s rising star. Be it any format, the 24-year-old plays an integral part in Virat Kohli’s scheme of things. Unlike Bravo, though, Hardik’s threat comes with his big-hitting ability. Come Saturday, MI and CSK’s fortunes could well be decided by the performances of these flamboyant all-rounders.
Harbhajan vs Pollard
The Turbanator will have a point to prove. Having spent all ten seasons with MI, Harbhajan Singh will now don the yellow of Chennai. Not out of vengeance, but the off-spinner would definitely be itching to show his former employers what they’re missing out on.
Standing in the 37-year-old’s way, though, will be an old mate – Kieron Pollard. Just like Bhajji, the burly West Indian has only played for MI up until now. This is, in fact, his ninth straight season for them. Although he can’t be termed a youngster, the 30-year-old has many years of bludgeoning cricket left in him. No wonder the Mumbai franchise shelled out Rs 5.4 crore to retain him. Dhoni will surely look to the experienced Harbhajan in crunch situations. And when that happens, the legend might have to contend with Pollard’s broad bat.
Raina vs Bumrah
Much of the credit for CSK’s success has to go to Suresh Raina. All the while MSD was applying his ‘Midas touch’, it was Raina who was piling on the runs. The Uttar Pradesh lad is the leading run-scorer in IPL history, with 4540 runs from 161 matches.
The left-hander will be up against Jasprit Bumrah, one of the finest T20 bowlers in the world as of today. Long in the shadow of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah has well and truly established himself as the leader of the attack. It’s his rare talent, and not just the unorthodox action, that makes him a lethal force in the shortest format of the game. Raina hasn’t had the best time with bat in recent times, but he’s very much on the Team India comeback trail as we head towards the 2019 World Cup. On Saturday, it’ll be interesting to see if he can get the better of the ‘yorker specialist’.
Here’s all you need to know about catching the match and opening ceremony live:
When is IPL 2018 opening ceremony?
IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony will take place on 7 April, 2018.
Where is IPL 2018 opening ceremony?
IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony will take place at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
What time does IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony start?
It will begin at 6:15 pm IST on Saturday.
Which TV channels will broadcast IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony?
IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony will be broadcast on Star Sports network.
How do I live stream the IPL 2018 Opening Ceremony?
You can live stream it on Hotstar and Jio.
When is the IPL 11 season opener between Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings?
It will be played on 7 April 2018.
Where will Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings be played?
The match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
What time does Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings start?
The game begins at 8:00 PM. The toss will take place at 7:30 PM IST.
Which TV channels will broadcast Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings?
The match will be broadcast on Star Sports Network.
How do I watch online live streaming of Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings?
The game will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.
With inputs from IANS