The most popular yearly event of cricket is set to begin from 7th April 2018. Yes, IPL 2018 is coming!Nothing could have made the beginning of the most loved and entertaining event more crunchier and exciting than the first game, which is being played between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and the most lovable, highly successful IPL team Chennai Superkings, finally making a comeback after 2 years.
The squad for both the teams have little changes, with local youngsters joining respective teams. Both the teams have retained their old but gold players this season.
Three-time winner Mumbai Indians have been on a roll for a few IPL seasons. This time the team is consisting of young batsmen and explosive batsmen like Ishan Kishan and Siddhesh Lad. Apart from the youngsters, the team has retained experienced players Kieron Pollard and Mitchell McClenaghan. The likes of Hardik Pandya, Jaspreet Bumrah, Mushtafizur Rahman makes the bowling department strong and it would not be easy for any team to score boundaries off them. Another interesting choice would be between Pollard and Ben Cutting. It is highly unlikely that Mumbai will bench Pollard so ‘Big Ben’ may have to miss first few games.
The team has a high number of all-rounders (Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Cutting) which is balancing the not so experienced batting lineup and makes the Mumbai Indians team tough to beat for any other outfit.
Chennai Super Kings
The most loved team of IPL is back after 2 years with the captain cool Dhoni retaining his captaincy. Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Sam Billings along with Rayudu and Kedar make the batting lineup of CSK hard to take down. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Jadeja will bring experience to the bowling side.
CSK is a mix of great experienced players and the team is expected to show their magic once again.
Mumbai has been slightly better in terms of numbers of wins (13-11) registered in head to head encounters between the two teams. Chennai is making a comeback after 2 years under Dhoni’s captaincy while Mumbai has made a reputation of being one of the toughest team to beat in last few seasons of IPL.
Looking at the squad of both the teams on paper, Mumbai stands a great chance to start the IPL with a win due to a mix of great experienced and young players who are a great asset to any team. CSK too consist of great experienced players but they are facing last years’ winning team in their home ground which adds to the pressure of a comeback.
However, Mumbai have a notorious reputation for being slow starters and Chennai are making a comeback after a gap of 2 years with their massive fan base, so a CSK win would be a fairytale ending for most of the fans and set the tone for a highly competitive tournament. If I were you, I would put my money on Dhoni’s men.
Whichever team wins, one thing is for sure that the crowd will get the dose of entertainment they are eagerly waiting for.
IPL 2018: MI vs CSK match predictions for the season opener