Date: 9 April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
The Indian T20 League is here!! Be rest assured for some sure short entertainment as eight teams battle it out for glory in the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet. And it couldn't got any better with the two-time defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 1 of the season which will come your way from the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. When two among the most loved and followed teams battle against each other, it is sure to be a great game. However, other than that similarity there is stark difference between the sides. While Mumbai have won five titles, Bangalore are still chasing their elusive trophy. But with Mumbai being the perennial slow starters, Kohli's men would look to take the advantage of that record and start on a winning note. Can Mumbai finally begin with a win this season or whether it will be Bangalore who will begin with a bang? Lots to look forward in the star-studded curtain raiser of the tournament.
For the Rohit Sharma led side, the big news is that Quinton de Kock has joined the squad late owing to South Africa's international series against Pakistan and will not be available for the opening game. Others from the team's preferred playing XI are fit and rearing to go in this fixture but the big challenge would be to get the team combination right.
As far as Bangalore are concerned, talented youngster Devdutt Paddikal who had a great start to his IPL career last season, will not be available for the opening fixture after he tested positive for COVID-19. This means that Virat Kohli will have to find a new opening partner for himself in IPL 2021 and it would be interesting to see who he decides to go before Padikkal recovers and joins him in coming games. Also, Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under isolation.
With the brand of cricket that Mumbai plays, perhaps they would find a bit difficult to adjust their plans at the Chennai wicket. Mumbai are filled with fluent stroke makers who like that extra bit of bounce and pace but the wicket at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is not expected to be quite that. However, their phenomenal record against CSK at this venue shows that they have the arsenal in their side to do well even at these surfaces but their spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya should come good on this wicket. Who knows maybe Piyush Chawla may get a game?
On the other hand though, Bangalore wouldn't mind starting against Mumbai as Blue and Gold Brigade are slow to get off the blocks. But Bangalore will believe that if they get off to a good start, especially in the Chennai leg of matches, they have a good chance of making it to the playoffs this season. Watch out for who gets to open the batting along with Kohli - and who bats at number 3- the two crucial positions which can go onto suggest the thinking within the camp.
Probable Playing XI
Rohit Sharma (c), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile
KS Bharat, Virat Kohli (c), Mohammed Azharuddeen, AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kane Richardson
Wicketkeepers: AB de Villiers, Ishan Kishan
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Washington Sundar
Bowlers: Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson
Disclaimer: The fantasy tips and facts expressed within this article are personal opinion of the author. They do not reflect the views of SportsTiger. It is not a reflection of the actual points you might earn. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.