There might be nothing pleasant about the sultry evenings of April in Mumbai, but if the recent T20 games at the venue are anything to go by, a run-fest should be on offer at the Wankhede stadium. And once the floodlights will be on in all its glory inside the stadium, at Mumbai Indians’ home, Chennai Super Kings will be watched.
Almost half the side CSK are expected to field in the IPL 2018 opener were there donning the yellow jersey the last time the team had taken field. The halt had come following a final loss, and it is against the same opposition – Mumbai Indians – that they will resume their journey.
Mumbai hasn’t been as much an away territory for the Chennai Super Kings as they would’ve felt at some of the other cities. For the sea of blue the Wankhede Stadium still paints, no other team, apart from Mumbai Indians of course, could’ve claimed to be as popular as CSK here.
How well the newer guys shape up and the older guys find their mojo, will all be seen once the sun sets along the horizon of Marine Drive, a few hundred metres from the action
What: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
When: April 7, 2018, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, 8:00 PM IST
The rivalry between the two sides is quite tight, with Mumbai Indians holding the edge – 12 wins in 22 fixtures.
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis is still nursing his wounded finger, suffered during the fourth Test against Australia. He will be unavailable for the opening game.
Probable XI: Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma/ Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi
Mumbai Indians: Pat Cummins has arrived in India but didn’t turn up for practice. Still jaded after a hectic tour of South Africa, he could be rested for the opening game.
Probable XI: Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah.
What they said
“Great rivalry (against MI) and this is what the competition needs. We couldn’t ask for a better game to start with. A game of this intensity at this ground is always a thrill. (It is) hard to win (here), just as we are hard to beat at Chennai and that’s an aspect of successful teams, they defend their home patch well. Wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.” – Stephen Fleming, Chennai Super Kings’ head coach, on team’s return to IPL.
“I think we have more than just those two (Mustafizur and Bumrah). McClenaghan and Cummins have the ability to bowl hard and have done a really good job bowling at the back also. We aren’t just going to roll out the same plan every game with Jasprit and Fizz [Mustafizur] bowling at the back end.” Shane Bond, Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach.
Case 1: If Chennai bowl first
Mumbai score 180-190
Mumbai win by 25-35 runs
Case 2: if Mumbai bowl first
Chennai score 155-165
Mumbai win by 5 wickets