The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to commence in UAE with the opening encounter featuring the four-time IPL champions, Mumbai Indians, taking on the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, in the epic clash of titans, fondly called by the fans as the El Classico in IPL.
Led by Rohit Sharma, the defending champions would be one of the hot favorites for IPL 2020, and with all bases covered in the auction held last year, the Mumbai based franchise will deploy whatever measures necessary in successfully retaining their title.
With some of the finest T20 players in their tent who are aware of the conditions that will be offered and possess the talent and experience to dominate the contest, let’s take a look at Mumbai Indians predicted playing XI for the opening match of IPL 2020.
Openers – Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the duo of de Kock and Rohit is one of the most destructive opening combos in the upcoming edition of IPL.
Especially with Rohit’s form in limited-overs in the last one year, it is pretty obvious that fans and the cricket fraternity will have high expectations from him. Popularly known among the masses as ‘Hitman’ for his big-hitting abilities and the supremacy that he commands once set in the middle, it would be a delight if the Mumbaikar manages to rack over 450 runs in the much-coveted T20 season.
Meanwhile, de Kock, who won his maiden IPL in the previous edition and had one of the best runs among the wicket-keeper batsmen, scoring 529 runs at a striking rate of over 130 with 4 fifties, will surely aim to ditto his performances amidst the tracks in UAE.
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Middle-order – Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan
Suryakumar’s consistency has peaked as a cricketer in the last few years of cricket both at the domestic level and in a tournament as big as IPL. Since his arrival into Mumbai Indians in 2018, SKY (as known by his initials) has been a major contributing factor in their victories, amassing 936 runs in 30 innings at an average and strike rate of 33.43 and 131.46.
An anchor who could go bonkers when needed, Suryakumar is assisted in the middle order by Ishan Kishan who possesses immense talent underneath himself and could possibly have an impressionable run this time around.
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All-rounders – Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya
Mumbai Indians’ strength lies in their middle-order that boasts some of the best hitters in IPL.
Kieron Pollard can be a force to reckon with if he starts banging the deliveries in his radar outside the fence. The Caribbean giant would be riding high on the victory achieved in CPL 2020, wherein he clobbered 207 runs in 7 innings averaging 51.75 and a strike rate of over 200. That coupled with his experience of winning numerous games in IPL will add to Mumbai Indians’ strength in the upcoming season.
Hardik Pandya has been a beast in IPL and being one of the best players of spin, he could be mayhem if not dealt with care. Averaging 44. 66 and a strike rate of 191, the Baroda-lad tore the opposition attack with his swashbuckling hitting in IPL 2019. He is one of those cricketers who don’t take many deliveries before unleashing an onslaught. Not to mention, he could be a partnership breaker with the ball when the time arises. His partner in crime, Krunal Pandya, could have a greater role to play with the ball as the conditions in UAE could offer him the desired turns.
Bowlers – Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter Nile, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah
Nathan Coulter Nile has got those cutters in his armory that can get the job done for Rohit & Co. The Aussie cricketer has been impressive, to say the least in the limited opportunities received in IPL, picking 36 wickets in 26 matches while averaging under 20. A pinch hitter, Coulter Nile could play explosive cameos and get those match-winning numbers for the defending champions.
Among the key players in Mumbai Indians playing XI would be Rahul Chahar. He’s a certain pick in almost all the games to be held this season. The leggie impressed many with his economical performances, more so, in the clutch situations, as he grabbed 13 wickets in as many matches at an economy under 7.00.
Mitchell McClenaghan has been an integral member of the Mumbai Indians’ bowling department since IPL 2015. A wicket-taking bowler with 71 wickets in 56 T20s, the left-arm pacer had plenty of variations under his kitty that can keep the Chennai Super Kings guessing, and thus, one could say that the Kiwi pacer might end up scraping impressive numbers in the much-coveted bout.
Jasprit Bumrah, the go-to man in powerplay and death overs, comes as a no brainer in Mumbai Indians probable XI. With his yorkers and slower deliveries on target, the 26-year-old could restrict CSK to lesser totals.
Mumbai Indians Predicted Playing XI
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan Coulter Nile, Jasprit Bumrah