IPL 2021 is set to begin this Friday (9th April) night when the five-time IPL winners, including winning both the last two IPL trophies, Mumbai Indians (MI) will take the challenge of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chepauk, Chennai).
The first match is always important for a team in any tournament as winning the tournament opener brings a major boost in the confidence for the winning side. While Mumbai Indians defended their title in the IPL 2020, RCB were the fourth-best team in that same IPL season who were eliminated after losing the eliminator against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH).
The record five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians are once again favourite for the IPL 2021. However, it will be a fresh season and they have to prove once again in this tournament. Their first hurdle in the IPL 2021 is going to be ending their losing streaks in their last eight IPL season openers.
South African cricketer Quinton de Kock and New Zealand cricketer Adam Milne are likely to miss the IPL 2021 opener due to quarantine rules. However, ESPNcrincinfo has recently reported that de Kock can play from the very first game of the new IPL season due to landing in India through a charter flight from South Africa and he had separate entry and exit points.
But if de Kock misses the first game, Ishan Kishan is very much likely to play the wicket-keeper role while Australian cricketer Chris Lynn can open with skipper Rohit Sharma. Former Kolkata Knight Riders’ opener Lynn was in the Mumbai Indians squad in IPL 2020 but he didn’t get a match for that entire season.
Mumbai Indians are completely balanced side their most of the bases are covered.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Chris Lynn, Amolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Singh, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
The three-time IPL runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are once again desperate to end their wait for the first trophy in the IPL 2021.
Devdutt Padikkal is likely to play the new season opener after recovering from COVID-19. But the leg-spinner Adam Zampa will miss the season opener due to marriage while New Zealand cricketer Finn Allen will miss the first game due to quarantine rules, who has been joined the side as the overseas replacement of Australian cricketer Josh Philippe. Daniel Sams also can miss the first game as he has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
Just like the other years, captain Virat Kohli, former South African star AB de Villiers etc are going to play crucial roles in the batting line-up. Everyone will also put a keen eye on the Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell as his IPL future is likely going to be decided with his upcoming performances in the IPL 2021.
RCB also need to sort out their bowling line-up while the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s form is going to be crucial again for the team.
Virat Kohli (C), AB De Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Finn Allen, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Daniel Sams, Harhsal Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Daniel Christian, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat.
It is a fresh season so both teams will begin in a fresh way. Mumbai Indians suffered defeats in all their last eight IPL season openers and they are surely desperate to end this streak. Meanwhile, RCB are sensing a great opportunity to make a positive start in the IPL 2021.
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