- Asmita Saxena
The crown jewel of the Indian T20 cricket is here. The initial matches of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021 OR IPL 14)will be played behind-the-closed doors, while the BCCI will be taking the call on allowing spectators at a later stage of the tournament.
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
Date: 9th April 2021
Time: 07:30 PM
In the opening match of the IPL 2021, we have the defending champions Mumbai Indians locking horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
While Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals in the summit clash of the IPL 2020 with five wickets and eight balls to spare, Royal Challengers Bangalore saw their championship dreams shattered in the Eliminator, losing against Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets.
Nonetheless, it’s a new season, and both teams will be starting afresh with a new set of players, which they grabbed by paying a hefty price on the auction table.
Mumbai Indians will be defending their title, which they won less than five months ago in Dubai. The five-time champions will be taking on the field to add another IPL trophy in their closet. And to achieve this, they have a pretty balanced squad that is more than capable of lifting the golden trophy. What’s haunting is their record in the opening game, they have lost all of their opening games in the last eight IPL seasons, and the Rohit Sharma-led would be determined enough to end this disgraceful record this time around.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, who ended at the fourth position in the last season, are arguably one of the most entertaining sides. The franchise was very active in the auction and spent huge bucks to fill the void. Having acquired the services of star players like Glenn Maxwell, the Virat Kohli & co will be hoping to lift their maiden IPL trophy.
With both teams hoping to pick up a win from this game and get some momentum in the early stage of the tournament, the fans will be in an enticing game of cricket.
The skies will stay clear with zero chances of rain interruptions. The weather conditions will remain humid for the entire duration of the game. The temperature will hover around 29 degrees Celsius.
The track at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is a balanced one with an average 1st innings score of 150 runs. The surface has something to offer for both batsmen and bowlers. The spinners have enjoyed great success on this ground and can dictate the terms of this game too. The chasing teams have won the majority of the games played on this ground. Hence, the captain winning the toss should look to bowl first
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare (WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter Nile, Adam Milne, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen and Arjun Tendulkar.
Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Finn Allen, Shahbaz Ahamad, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Mohammed Azharuddeen (WK), Daniel Christian, KS Bharat (WK), Suyash Prabhudessai, Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Virat Kohli (C), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Virat Kohli: Kohli has amassed 5878 runs in 192 IPL matches. The chasing machine will open the innings for RCB this season and can help you fetch healthy fantasy points in this game if he gets going.
Glenn Maxwell: Another highly paid vacation or 14.25 Crores well spent? The Aussie all-rounder had a dismal IPL 2020 season. However, he is a quality player who can singlehandedly change the course of the game on his day.
Rajat Patidar: The right-handed batsman hailing from Madhya Pradesh was phenomenal in the RCB’s intrasquad practice match, wherein he scored a century (104) off 49 balls. He can prove to be a great differential pick in this game.
Kieron Pollard: The Caribbean all-rounder has scored 3023 runs and picked 60 wickets in his 164 IPL outings. He is someone who can shift the gears at will and pick up some wickets as well. His all-around brilliance makes him a must-have pick.
Quinton de Kock
AB de Villiers
Mumbai Indians are expected to win this game.
Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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