Defending champions Mumbai will face Bangalore in the opening encounter of the Indian T20 League 2021. Mumbai had an edge over Bangalore with winning three matches out of the last five.
Match Timings: April 09, 7:30 PM IST
Will Bangalore claim their maiden Indian T20 League title or Mumbai make a hattrick of titles this year? All answers will be unfolded in the next two months as the mega event of the Indian T20 League kicks off in Chennai’s Chepauk stadium. Mumbai and Bangalore both invested some amount in this year’s action but Bangalore’s picks were too good as they picked some big players like Maxwell, Christian, and Jamieson.
Mumbai’s squad is already a compact one and they just tried to fill some gaps with the auction. Defending champions are highly favourites to win one more title and all cricket experts have already predicted Mumbai’s win. There will be a little bit of change to their main squad which last played in the 2020 season final. De Kock is completing his quarantine but there is no major update that he will be available in the opening match or not. If not, Chris Lynn will open with Rohit Sharma. Mumbai can also look for Ishan Kishan at the top and add Tiwary in the middle-order to find an extra overseas all-rounder or bowler. Suryakumar Yadav had a great form last season and he will continue to bat at his genuine position. Pandya brothers will be seen in middle-order. Mumbai can try two spinners considering the behavior of the pitch and Rahul Chahar will be seen with experienced Piyush Chawla. It means, Coulter Nile might be dropped and Boult-Bumrah will take the charge of pace-attack. Hardik and Pollard are already two options who can fulfill the quota of 3rd pacer if the team requires. With the entry of Chawla, Mumbai can boost their spin attack as Krunal isn’t convincing with the bowl.
Meanwhile, Bangalore’s investment in the auction 2021 can see some wonder this season and they’re optimistic with this current squad. Padikkal was the star player of last season and he will open along with Virat Kohli. ABD and Maxwell will take the role in middle-order. Bangalore can look for young Azhardueen at number three or four. Daniel Christian and Jamieson will surely make their debuts as 3rd and 4th overseas players. Navdeep Saini and Siraj will be two front-line Indian pacers. Adam Zampa will miss out the opening fixture and Kohli will go ahead with his Indian spin combination, Chahal and Sundar. Middle-order would be a big worry-sign for them but Maxwell’s entry may solve this puzzle. Kohli has to pick the best eleven for Chennai’s surface and he can look for any other spin-option.
Both sides had a good rivalry but in the last few seasons, Mumbai had a good edge. They have a perfect T20 combination and defending champions have a strong backup for each player. Rohit’s captaincy pushes them to create that winning atmosphere. Mumbai are favourites despite knowing Chepauk’s pitch behavior. Adam Zampa will be missed on this surface. One solid performance from the top-order can help Bangalore to stun champions in the season-opener.
Chepauk’s surface is a tough T20 track and we have seen spin dominating the surface. Captains may start the game with the spin. Toss would be crucial and the chasing side will have an advantage.
Rohit Sharma (c), Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile/Piyush Chawla
Previous season – Winner
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers (wk), Mohammed Azharuddeen, Glenn Maxwell, Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kyle Jamieson
Previous season – Playoffs (3rd)
Last season – M:16, Runs: 480, Avg: 40
Last season – M:14, Runs: 516, Avg: 57.33
Last season – M:15, Runs: 466, Avg: 42.36
Last season – M:15, Wickets: 21, Avg: 19.28