IPL 2018 Game 1 Preview: Mumbai, Chennai ready for champions clash in season opener

First game of the 60-match long event to kick off on Saturday

Eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to kick off with a grand clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium in the country’s capital.

The match will be the first of 60 which will be played in the mega event over the course of next 50 days. While Mumbai begins their title defense in the match, Chennai will be making their comeback after a gap of two seasons.
Both teams have already lifted the titles three times, and are amongst the favorites to lift the trophy come May 27 once again.

Chennai is still led by mercurial Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will have the services of the likes South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis, experienced local pros’ in Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay and Ambati Rayudu.

The team also comprises of top quality all-rounders Shane Watson, Ravendra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav and Dwayne Bravo. In the bowling department, the team will bank on the versatility of the leg spinners Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, off-spinners Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner and pacers Mark Wood and Lungi Ngidi.

On the other hand, Mumbai will go into the tournament with a bowling heavy squad, which is a real surprise.
Nevertheless, they have the services of Captain Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard in the batting department.

In the bowling lineup, they have Jaspreet Bumrah, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan and Pradeep Sangwan to pick from when it comes to the pacers, whereas the likes of Akila Dhananjaya, Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya will comprise the spin unit.

The pitch is expected to be another great one for batting and the ground has the history of being a difficult venue to defending totals, so expect the captains to win the toss and opting to bowl first, whereas the weather is expected to stay fine throughout with just 10% chances of rain.

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