This year due to the pandemic BCCI could not arrange the league in all previous venues. So teams have to play in neutral venues this year. The season opener match will be played in Chennai tomorrow. MI and RCB players were already in the city for a moderate time.
RCB have made a balanced team this year and look very strong this time. Glen Maxwell has been brought into this team to bolster the middle order. Domestic sensations like Azharuddeen, Rajat Patidar are likely to enter the XI.
Devdutt Padikkal will miss the opening match. He has just joined the team and not completed the mandatory quarantine period. He was the highest run-scorer for the team last season.
Death bowling has always been a concern for RCB but Dan Christian can be a good option to fill that slot. Daniel Sams is also a new man in the team but not available due to a positive test in Covid Test.
Kyle Jamieson has been added to this team with a huge price tag. But his lack of experience to bowl in Asian conditions will put him on a hard test.
The Indian core bowling of RCB is quite impressive. They have Navdeep Saini, Md. Siraj who is likely to play in the XI regularly.
Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal will take command of the spin bowling. Maxwell can contribute 1-2 overs there as well.
On the other side, Mumbai Indians are looking to start the campaign with a victory. This team has made the least changes in recent years.
Quinton de Kock will miss the opening match as the mandatory quarantine period is not over. Chris Lynn may get a chance in his place. Ishaan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav had played for India this year and in outstanding form.
Kieron Pollard is also available for selection and likely to play in XI. The team has alternative options like Neesham as well. Neesham is in good form recently.
Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya are in great touch with the bat but the bowling of Krunal is not up to the mark right now.
The only concern about this team is spin bowling. Rahul Chahar had played good cricket but in slow pitches like Chennai, they needed additional spinners. Piyush Chawla can be a key player for them in this kind of pitches. They have the option of Jayant Yadav as well.
In fast bowling, Bumrah and Boult are there to attack. If they need any additional pacer there will be a rotation between Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Milne.
MI vs RCB Match Details:
Date: 9th April 2021 (Friday)
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
MI vs RCB What to Expect:
The weather in Chennai is hot and humid. The pitch will act a bit slow. Winning the toss, the team would prefer to chase. Scores above 160 will be a good total to defend in this venue.
Predicted XI of MI:
Chris Lynn will open with Rohit Sharma. Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav will be switching their places according to the game. Later, Pollard, Hardik, and Krunal will come to bat.
They might play two spinners in the game. Rahul Chahar and Piyush Chawla may be those spinners. Bumrah and Boult will take care of the fast bowling.
MI Team against RCB: Chris Lynn, Rohit Sharma(C), Ishan Kishaan(WK), Surya Kumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Piyush Chawla/ Coulter Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Predicted XI of RCB:
Md. Azharuddeen can open with Virat Kohli in absence of Padikkal. Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers and Maxwell will bat in the middle. We can see Dan Christian after that.
Washington Sundar can bat at any number in the team. Kyle Jamieson is likely to debut in IPL tomorrow. As mentioned earlier teams can prefer playing with extra spinners so Shabaz Ahmed can feature in the playing XI tomorrow.
Chahal and Saini will be the other bowlers.
RCB Team against MI: Mohammed Azharuddeen, Virat Kohli (C), AB De Villiers, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj/ Shahbaz Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal.