The IPL 2018 will begin with the MUM and CHE locking horns at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. There cannot be a better fixture to kick off the Best vs Best edition of IPL. The season opener promises to be high voltage affair between bat and ball as both the teams are equally strong on paper as well as on the field. And, it’s quite tough to choose a favorite.
While the hitman-Rohit Sharma will lead the defending champions-Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings that is making a comeback after two years of suspension will be led by its favorite Thala-Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
With the Wankhede pitch favoring the batting side, a high-scoring match is expected to take place in the opening clash. The team making lesser mistakes will be the winner. So, let’s have a look at the key players for the season opener-
The defending champions, MI have a strong batting line up with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Surya Kumar Yadav and Pandya brothers. With a strike rate above 130 the skipper, Rohit Sharma has played 159 matches and scored 4207 runs at an average of 32.61. Evin Lewis, who is expected to open the innings either with Rohit Sharma or wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan has a strike rate of 150 and an average of 36.00. Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya along with Kieron Pollard will contribute with both the bat and ball.
In bowling, Mumbai has one of the best pace attacks with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman. Pat Cummins will also play a crucial role in bowling.
On the opposite, Chennai Super Kings have Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni, Murali Vijay and SamBillings/Faf du Plessis for putting runs on the scoreboard. Watson has scored 2622 runs with a strike rate of 139 in 102 matches and has also taken 56 wickets with an economy of 7.83. CSK’s IPL specialist, Suresh Raina has scored 4540 runs in 161 matches at an average of 34.13 with a strike rate above 1369.
In bowling, “Turbanator”- Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Mark Wood, Shardul Thakur and death over specialist D Bravo will have to take the charge.
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