In a quest to revive their hunt for their maiden IPL title, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will flag off the proceedings of Vivo IPL 2021 when they square off against the mighty 5-time and defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Chepauk in Chennai.
Head to Head (MI vs RCB)
Total Played: 27
MI won: 17
RCB won: 10
Tournament- Indian Premier League 2021
Match- 1, RCB vs MI
Venue- MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Pitch nature- A slow wicket with assistance to spinners
Match Timings- 7:30 PM IST
Watch Live on- Star Sports 1 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi)
Live Streaming- Disney+Hostar
This year’s IPL is expected to be very interesting as none of the teams will be playing at their home. Therefore, there won’t be any home advantage for either of the sides. The fans didn’t have to wait much for the IPL this time around, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the tournament took place in Sep-Nov, and it has only been 149 days since Mumbai Indians lifted the title, defeating Delhi Capitals in the final held in Dubai.
The season opener will be a cult classic as two of the biggest heroes of Indian cricket Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli, will be squaring off in what would be a mouth-watering affair. Let us move ahead and see how the two teams stack up in the curtain-raiser of IPL 2021.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Over the years, Royal Challengers Bangalore has been one of the most promising teams on papers, and the theory is the same this year as well. Virat Kohli and Ab de Villers are the two lynchpins of RCB hopes, and these two stalwarts will once again don the same hat they have been donning over the years.
RCB invested a gigantic sum to acquire the services of Glenn Maxwell for INR 14.25 Cr, and Kyle Jamieson for INR 15 Cr. Also, RCB has roped in some exquisite Indian talent like Rajat Patidar, Harshal Patel, Sachin Baby, and hard-hitting batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen.
Talking about the team line-up for this game, swashbuckling left-hand opener Devdutt Padikkal who has recovered from coronavirus, will be starting the innings alongside his skipper Virat Kohli. Ab de Villiers will be the designated and will be batting at No 3. Following him would be their latest recruit, Glenn Maxwell, whereas one between Rajat Patidar or Mohammad Azharuddeen will be forming the rest of the batting line-up.
In the bowling department, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar will be the spin duo. Meanwhile, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, and Mohammad Siraj will be the three frontline seamers. Their four overseas options would be Ab de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, and Daniel Christian.
RCB Expected XI
Virat Kohli (C)
Ab de Villiers
Rajat Patidar/M Azharuddeen
Mumbai Indians (MI)
As the 5-time champions gear up for their title defense, they have stuck against a roadblock in the form of Quinton de Kock. The southpaw is under IPL and BCCI’s quarantine protocols. However, if he misses out, it could be a great chance for Chris Lynn to make his MI debut and open alongside his skipper Rohit Sharma.
MI is once again the most-settled side in the tournament with all their boxes ticked. The opening slot is fixed with the middle-order to be formed by the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya.
Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya will be the two spin options in the eleven, whereas Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, and one between Nathan Coulter Nile or Adam Milne will be the seam bowling options. It would be interesting to see if the management fits Piyush Chawla into the eleven as Chepauk surface is favorable for the spinners. However, this could only happen if Hardik Pandya is fully fit to bowl his quota of four overs.
MI Expected XI
Chris Lynn/Quinton de Kock
Nathan Coulter Nile/Adam Milne/Piyush Chawla
The build-up of this match between two top-class sides has been intense. Both teams would be looking to kick off their campaign on a winning note to gain that early momentum which will boost them going into the games to follow. COVID-19 protocols and restrictions have nothing but a mental toll, and it would be interesting to see which team will overcome these mental barriers and commence IPL 2021 with a win under their belt.