|Finished.159/9 (20) - 160/8 (20)|
When an IPL begins mere months after the last one ended, it must feel like Christmas came early. With the hope that Covid-19 doesn’t cause it to be postponed like the PSL, let’s dive into the first set of predictions for the much-coveted competition. In the very first match, reigning champions Mumbai Indians take on Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were fourth last year. MI are undoubtedly the favourites, but with a star-studded team, RCB aren’t going to be pushovers this season. The Indians have their pride to protect, and the Royal Challengers will be looking to start the season with a statement victory. Before the relatively low-key opening ceremony gets under way, let’s take a look at the two teams.
Full IPL squad
Rohit Sharma (c), Aditya Tare (wk), Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock (wk), Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
Mumbai Indians predicted XI vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla.
Mumbai Indians team preview and form
Rohit Sharma will lead the side as usual, and look for his third IPL title in a row.
The Indian trio of Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Ishan Kishan will form a potentially devastating middle order.
Although Chris Lynn is a terrific batsman, it will most likely be Quinton de Kock and Kieron Pollard who get the ticket into the playing XI as international batsmen, Pollard because of his insane hitting abilities, and de Kock as a keeper. Update: de Kock is set to miss the first match, with Lynn being the most likely stand-in.
Out of Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Adam Milne, any two could join Jasprit Bumrah to form Mumbai’s pace battery, with Adam Zampa being dropped as Piyush Chawla can be a viable replacement.
Needless to say, winning the last two seasons means MI are in terrific form.
Mumbai Indians key players vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Suryakumar Yadav: SKY was in excellent touch for his country against England, and will most likely do even better for his franchise.
Kieron Pollard: It’s unlikely that it will even get to that point, but if Pollard gets to come in relatively early, he will be deadly.
Trent Boult: The New Zealander will be keen on getting practice against Indians before the ICC World Test Championship final.
Jasprit Bumrah: Finally back from his prolonged injury-induced absence, Bumrah will be keen on making up for lost time.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Full IPL squad
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kane Richardson, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, Srikar Bharat (wk), Finn Allen.
Royal Challengers Bangalore predicted XI vs Mumbai Indians
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian.
Royal Challengers Bangalore team preview and form
As Kohli said in the post-match interview after India’s series win against England, he might just open the batting for RCB.
AB de Villiers and Devdutt Padikkal will most likely be joined by a lesser-known batsman, given RCB’s heavy reliance on all-rounders. Update: In light of Devdutt Padikkal testing positive for Covid-19, he will miss RCB's first few matches, bringing in another lesser-known batsman.
Speaking of, Washington Sundar, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, and Daniel Sams will be among those, with the last two competing for a spot on the team with Kyle Jamieson thrown into the mix.
Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini will be the premier fast bowlers of Indian origin, with Yuzvendra Chahal spinning things up with help from the aforementioned Maxwell and Sundar.
Getting up to fourth place last year from 8th in the previous was quite a feat, but RCB will be looking to improve on that and hunt for their inaugural title.
Royal Challengers Bangalore key players vs Mumbai Indians
Virat Kohli: The captain will employ every weapon in his arsenal to satisfy his hunger for wins.
Glenn Maxwell: The Aussie cost RCB a fortune, and much will be expected of him.
Mohammed Siraj: Back from his own injury, Siraj will be looking to outdo Bumrah in hopes of replacing or joining him in their national team.
Washington Sundar: Capable with both ball and bat, it is the former we are counting on when including him in this list.
Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers pitch report and weather conditions
The MA Chidambaran Stadium in Chennai features a pitch that lends itself to good batting. Spinners have a good time on it too, but the ball doesn’t start getting much help from the surface until the later stages of a T20, which means that unlike the case for most pitches around the world, teams winning the toss will look to bat first, and put up at least 170.
The weather in Chennai will be ideal for cricket. The heat won’t be oppressive, the air won’t be too dry, and the chances for rain are pretty much non-existent. It will also be too hot for dew, so that won’t be a problem either.
Can the Indians continue their winning streak from last year’s playoffs? Or will the Royal Challengers announce that they mean business by besting the best? Find out if our MI vs RCB predictions come true on Friday!
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|RCB Top Batsman:|
|MI Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|RCB Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|S Yadav/K Pollard (MI), V Kohli/G Maxwell (RCB)|