Guwahati: The wait is finally over, as the much awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 gets underway in just a few hours from now, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and fans around the world can’t help but say ‘Thank God’. With the pandemic wrecking havoc all around, the IPL will be a much needed distraction, at least for the die hard fans of the game.
While the tournament will be underway as a behind-the-closed-doors event, there will be no shortage of entertainment as the defending champions Mumbai Indians(MI) take on the Chennai Super Kings(CSK) in the season opener, termed as the El Clasico of the IPL.
The two teams faced each other in the final of the previous season, which in itself was a nail biting contest that went down till the last over, and one expect that it won’t be any different when they will square off in the season opener tonight at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The season opener will be a ‘battle of the bests’, with 7 titles and 13 final appearances between them.
As we go into the all trending season opener, we look into some talking points ahead of the game.
The Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians has got the better of Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings in the last five face-offs. Now, CSK is a team comprised of the senior fellows as comprised to the team of Mumbai, which is a hub for youngsters. But, having said that, the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson love to take on challenges and they are one bests in the business, led by a someone like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has the coolest head on his shoulders, can understand the game better than anyone else. So it is never too easy to sign-off a team like a Chennai Super Kings
Although there is no real home advantage this season, with the teams given the same stadiums as their home bases, but going into the first match, the Mumbai Indians have been based in Abu Dhabi since their arrival in the UAE, while the CSK have been based in Dubai, therefore the CSK will only get their first taste of the Abu Dhabi conditions as they go out to play the opener, while Mumbai would have been well accustomed with it. That plays as a disadvantage for the CSK side. “I must admit, going to Abu Dhabi without seeing the wicket or assessing the conditions is going to be one of the big challenges to start with.”, CSK coach Sthephen Fleming said in the CSK website.
Deepak Chahar vs Rohit Sharma (Powerplay)
Deepak Chahar has managed to recover from the deadly coronavirus recently, and has got the clearance from the BCCI to rejoin the team. Now Chahar has a sweet little battle with one of IPL’s greatest batsman, Rohit Sharma. Chahar has dismissed Rohit two times in six innings during the powerplay, giving away only 29 runs in 24 deliveries. Chahar has been a exploiter of the conditions with the new ball, but tonight, the question remains, can he conjure some swing out in the desert?
Jasprit Bumrah vs MS Dhoni (Death overs)
MS Dhoni at the crease during the death, is a nightmare for any opposition. But, Mumbai Indians are perhaps one of the few teams, who wouldn’t be intimidated in the death ever, even when they have someone like a Dhoni against them. Mumbai have the best death bowler in their arsenal at the moment, Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah has dismissed Dhoni three times in the overs between 16-20 in the IPL, giving away just 39 runs in 33 deliveries. Tonight, the question will be, can Dhoni the finisher get the better of BOOM BOOM Bumrah?
Mumbai and season openers?
Mumbai Indians have always had a jinx with their season openers, having lost all of their opening games since 2012, something the Chennai Super Kings will fancy upon. But, again the Mumbai has an outstanding overall record against the Chennai Super Kings having won eight out of the last ten games they have played.
- Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma needs 6 more sixes to reach the 200-six mark in the IPL
- If the Chennai Super Kings wins the IPL 2020 opener tonight under MS Dhoni, it will be the 100th IPL win as a CSK skipper for Captain Cool
It will be interesting to see how the Abu Dhabi pitch behave, as no competitive cricket has been played on it since 2019. The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi has hosted 45 T20I matches in the last ten years, where the highest score by a team has been 225/7. However, the average run rate n T20I games played in Sheikh Zayed Stadium is 7, which means that anything above a 150 will be a par score. But, if the pitch turns out to be a belter, with the ball coming on to the bat through the 40 overs, the Mumbai Indians will slightly have an edge over the Chennai Super Kings in the season opener.
With no chance of rain interruption and temperature around 35 degree Celsius and the humidity levels on the higher side, as reported by the MET, the captain at the toss is expected to win the toss and have a bowl first. Also the fact that the pitch conditions will be pretty new, batting second would be a great option.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Shane Watson, 2. Ambati Rayudu, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Imran Tahir
Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Match will start at 7:30pm IST
Toss at 7:00pm IST
Match can be viewed on : The Star Sports Network and Disney + Hotstar VIP subscription
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