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Mustafiz’s Mumbai take on Chennai in the opener of IPL 2018

Kalerkantho Online   

7 April, 2018 16:28 PM



Mustafiz’s Mumbai take on Chennai in the opener of IPL 2018

Photo: Zeenews

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Returning to the fray after serving out a two-year suspension, two-time winners Chennai Team will take on reigning champions Mumbai Team in the 11th edition of lung-opener of the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

The needle clash, expected to be watched by a capacity crowd at the Wankhede Stadium, looks set to raise the curtains on the decade-old T20 League in grand style after a formal opening ceremony, reports Zeenews.

Mumbai Team, led by Rohit Sharma, appears to face an arduous task against the star-studded Chennai side, led by their charismatic skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is back at the helm following the team's two-year ban in 2016 and 2017 IPL seasons along with Rajasthan Team.

The visitors would sure like to begin their campaign with a bang against their arch-rivals as veteran offie Harbhajan Singh will turn out in CSK colours against his former team. 

Mumbai Team will bank on their skipper Sharma, who has kept the number of his batting position under wraps for this game, but his role will be crucial. Rohit has shown that when he gets going then no bowling attack can stop him in the limited over formats and he would hope for a big knock in the first game to boost his and the team's confidence.

Apart from him, they have a good batting line-up with the likes of West Indians Elvin Lewis and Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddesh Lad.

The role of Pandya brothers - Hardik and Krunal as all-rounders - will also be crucial. But this time Mumbai Team will miss the services of not only Harbhajan but also pacer Lasith Malinga as a player although the Sri Lankan continues his association with the hosts as their bowling mentor.

Mumbai also have one of the finest death bowlers currently in the world in Jasprit Bumrah. Coach Mahela Jayawardene would expect other bowlers like Australian Pat Cummins, Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman to deliver and aid Bumrah.

Mumbai's spin department is inexperienced with young spinners Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy and Sri Lankan Akila Dananjaya expected to deliver the goods on a track expected to provide spin as well as bounce.

Chennai Team, on the other hand, have a more settled team as they have retained their core players like Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.

They also have other experienced players in Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, South African Faf Du Plessis, Sam Billings and Shane Watson to share the burden.

On the bowling front, Harbhajan, Karn Sharma and Mumbai and India pacer Shardul Thakur are very familiar with the conditions at the Wankhede.

Mumbai Team: Rohit Sharma(c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan.

Chennai Team: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.


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