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MI vs RCB, IPL 2021: A blockbuster start to the 14th edition

Match: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (MI vs RCB)

Date: April 9, 2021

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium – Chennai, India

The two most followed teams in the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, will kick off the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League when they lock horns in Chennai on Friday. Two superstars of Indian cricket will be leading their respective sides in what promises to be an enthralling battle. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli top the run charts in the tournament, and are iconic players, who will be hoping to lead from the front yet again. 

Mumbai, the defending champions, will be eyeing their sixth IPL title and third successive crown, while RCB will be hoping to break the jinx and get their first hands on the cup. Both sides have plenty of big names as well – while Mumbai sees Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brother, RCB has AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammad Siraj.

Weather Update and Pitch Report of MI vs RCB

The evening in Chennai will be pleasant, but high humidity can be expected in the city at this time of the year. There is no prediction of rain. 

The track at Chepauk has always assisted the spinners, and batting second gets tougher. However, the team that wins the toss will look to chase to get a fair idea of how the wicket will play. 

MI Expected XI and Team News:

The Mumbai Indians team will be without Quinton de Kock for the opener, who will miss the game as he is still in quarantine, which means that Ishan Kishan might open alongside Rohit Sharma. Jasprit Bumrah is expected to return to cricket after a month’s break. 

X Factors: 

Trent Boultr: The fast bowler was lethal in the last IPL, where he picked up as many as 16 wickets in the powerplay overs. He was the Player of the Match in the finals last year, with his figures of 3 for 30 helping Mumbai Indians over the line. 

Probable XI: 

Rohit Sharma (c) , Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

RCB Expected XI and Team News:

The Royal Challengers Bangalore will miss Adam Zampa for the first game due to personal reasons. We will see a new-look RCB this season, with players like Finn Allen, Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson in the squad. Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive for Covid-19 but the youngster has joined the RCB camp and is expected to feature on Friday.

X Factors: 

AB de Villiers: The biggest match winner from RCB – he has a strike rate of 245 in the death overs since 2018 – won the team a number of games last season, and he will be expected to continue his form against a tough Mumbai team. 

Probable XI: 

Virat Kohli (c) , Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammad Azharuddeen, AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj

Head to Head record of MI vs RCB: 

Overall: The two teams have played each other 29 times in the history of the IPL, with Mumbai winning a whopping 19 times. RCB have registered 10 wins, and will enter the game after losing 5 successive matches last year. 

Player match ups:

Virat Kohli vs Krunal Pandya: Though the RCB skipper has been dismissed only once off Krunal in five seasons, he has a poor strike rate of only 113.46 against the spinner. Kohli’s struggles in the middle overs against spin are well documented, and MI will be eager to unleash Krunal yet again. 

Suryakumar Yadav vs Yuzvendra Chahal: The hard hitting Mumbai Indians batsman has not had the best run against Chahal. The RCB bowler has dismissed him twice in six seasons, and has conceded runs at a rate of only 126.09 against him. The challenge between Suryakumar and Chahal, thus, could go a long way in deciding the course of the match. 

Statistic Preview:

  • Mumbai Indians last won the opening game of the IPL back in 2012. Since then, they have lost 8 successive opening matches. Incidentally, this is also the period where Mumbai Indians have tasted most success – 5 titles in eight years.
  • Kieron Pollard needs only two more sixes to hit 200 maximums in the tournament. He has been a part of Mumbai Indians since 2010. 
  • Yuzvendra Chahal will be playing his 100th IPL game on Friday. Overall, the RCB bowler has picked up 121 wickets at an average of 22.50 and an economy of just 7.67 – this despite playing most of his games at Chinnaswamy. 

Match prediction of MI vs RCB: 

The Mumbai Indians have a tremendous record against RCB, and will be the favourites. However, the conditions at the venue will suit RCB better – they have two spinners along with Glenn Maxwell’s part-time spin, and cannot be ruled out. 

MPL Fantasy XI: 

AB de Villiers, Ishan Kishan, Devdutt Padikkal, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal

Captain and vice-captain selection:

Kieron Pollard: The big hitting West Indian has been a consistent match winner for Mumbai Indians since 2010. He has played 164 games for Mumbai in the tournament thus far, and has smashed 198 sixes to date. He can change the complexion of the match from any situation, and is a must pick. 

Virat Kohli: The Indian skipper was in exceptional form in the recent T20I series against England, where he scored three unbeaten 70+ knocks. He will open the innings, and can expect him to play another match-winning knock.

Also Read: Mumbai vs Bangalore : A nerve wrecking fixture

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