MI vs RCB: The wait for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is almost over, as all eight franchises will battle over the course of the next seven weeks to lift the coveted trophy. Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will kick start the IPL 2021 season on April 9 at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium. Mumbai Indians have had the clear edge over the rivals, when it comes to head-to-head meetings. MI have won 17 out of the 27 matches they have played against RCB in the past 13 seasons.
Mumbai Indians lifted their fifth IPL title last season, after they defeated Delhi Capitals in the finals. On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s men fell short of the title once again, as they were defeated by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator. The two franchises will hope to find their ideal team balance in the opening stages of the tournament, as it can prove vital in building a strong base.
Probable Mumbai Indians (MI) Playing XI for MI vs RCB match
Rohit Sharma (C), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile
Mumbai Indians (MI) will be without the services of Quinton de Kock for the first game, as the Protea wicket-keeper returned from International duty just a couple of days ago. As a result, he is still spending his time in isolation and is expected to join the squad soon. Chris Lynn, who was unfortunate to not feature in a single game last season, is expected to open alongside MI skipper, Rohit Sharma.
Ishan Kishan was Mumbai Indians’ top run-scorer last season, accumulating 516 runs at an average of 57.33. Suryakumar Yadav has earned himself the tag of ‘Mr Consistent’ after his brilliant performances in the past three seasons for the five time champions. Both players made their T20I debuts against England, on the back of an impressive IPL campaign last year.
Mumbai Indians are expected to stick with the same combination, that has earned that some much success. Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya will operate as all-rounders, and they are all match-winners in their own right. In a major boost for MI, Hardik Pandya can bowl a few overs this season, which gives them extra depth in their bowling options.
Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya combined brilliantly last season, and were at their attacking best with the bat. Krunal Pandya did not have a great season but is coming on the back of a successful domestic season which earned him a precious ODI debut.
Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult were one of the most devastating bowler pairs last season, and had a combined tally of 52 scalps. Boult troubled batsman with the new ball, whereas, Bumrah was effective in the death overs. Nathan Coulter Nile, who was re-purchased by the club at the auction, is expected to be the third seamer. Rahul Chahar was one among the plenty of youngsters who were handed their international debuts against England, and he is expected to be Mumbai’s frontline spinner this season.
Probable Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Playing XI for MI vs RCB match
Mohammed Azharudeen Virat Kohli (C), Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamieson
Virat Kohli announced before the IPL, that he would be open the innings this season. Devdutt Padikkal tested positive prior to the tournament, and returned a negative test just two days before the opener. As a result, he will miss out on the first game. Mohammed Azharudeen, who got his fair share of limelight after scoring a swashbuckling century against Mumbai in the Syed Mustaq Ali trophy, can be expected to open the innings.
Rajat Patidar scored 221 runs in the Syed Mustaq Ali tournament at an average of 44.20. He might be given an opportunity to showcase his talent on the big stage on Friday. AB de Villiers, will play his 11th season for RCB this season and has been a mainstay in Virat Kohli’s side over the past few years. The former South African batsman has the ability to innovate, and can score runs all-around the park, and is rightly called ‘Mr. 360.’
The Australian duo of Glenn Maxwell and Dan Christian will feature in the playing eleven for RCB. Both players were purchased at the auction and are expected to play a huge role this season. Washington Sundar is almost certain to be a part of Kohli’s side throughout the tournament.
Kyle Jamieson was one of the big buys at the auction, going for a sum of Rs.15 crores. He is expected to lead the bowling lineup for the Challengers alongside the Indian duo of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. RCB’s bowling lineup has often been criticized in the past years because of their inability to deliver the goods when it matters the most. Yuzvendra Chahal has been the franchise’s most consistent bowler, picking up 21 wickets last season. One particular trait about the leg spinner is that he never shies away from tossing the ball up and luring the batsman to go for big shots.