Mumbai: Defending Champions Mumbai Indians and two-time winners Chennai Super Kings will feature in the season opening clash of VIVO IPL 2018.
A MI-CSK clash is a fitting way to begin the season, for these are the two-most successful teams in the IPL.
Mumbai Indians have the core of the team that won the title in 2017 available to them this season too, while Chennai Super Kings, who return to the competition after a two-year absence, will sport a new-look side, though a few popular players -- who helped establish the CSK brand -- will continue to don the yellow jersey.
Mumbai Indians have been perennial poor starters; they have now lost their last five season opening fixtures.
Rohit Sharma and company will be keen to set that record right when they take the field on the opening night of the 2018 season.
Evin Lewis, in his first stint in the IPL, and Ishan Kishan , are among the most daring young batsmen of this generation, and can destroy bowling attacks single-handedly. Both batsmen have been in good form too; Lewis was West Indies’ highest run-getter in the World Cup Qualifiers held recently, while Ishan Kishan has been consistently scoring runs in domestic cricket in the last couple of months.
Suresh Raina, back in the Chennai Super Kings yellow jersey, will be at the centre of the team’s batting plans. The left-hander is the highest run-getter in T20 cricket among Indian batsmen, and has timed his return to form perfectly.
Among others, Faf du Plessis, who will most likely open the batting, and captain MS Dhoni, who according to coach Stephen Fleming ‘will play a more prominent role as batsman’ are the ones to keep a close watch on.
Mumbai' Mustafizur Rahman and Jasprit Bumrah, and Chennai' Dwayne Bravo are the ones likely to cause big-scale damage with the ball.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Akila Dananjaya, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan (wk), Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Sharad Lumba, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, MD Nidheesh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Aditya Tare (wk), Saurabh Tiwary and Suryakumar Yadav
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Capt. & wk), KM Asif, Sam Billings (wk), Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Narayan Jagadeesan, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Lungi Ngidi, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Kanishk Seth, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson and Mark Wood
Saturday April 7, 2018
Start starts: 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT)