IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings Preview

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We preview the opening match of 2018 IPL which will see the Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede.

Following what has been a cracking Southern Hemisphere summer of Test cricket, the glitz and glamour of the IPL is set to light up our screens for the next two months.

The 2018 edition of the tournament takes on a familiar feel with the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals returning to the competition having served two-year suspensions. We kick things off on Saturday with the Super Kings set to take on the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede. Let’s take a look:

MI vs CSK | Saturday 7 April | Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai | 16:30

To Win Match
Mumbai Indians 67/100
Tie 35/1 
Chennai Super Kings 5/4

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Mumbai Indians
The Indians were brilliant throughout last year’s edition of the tournament, eventually pipping the Gujarat Lions to the title by the slimmest of margins. They boast arguably the meanest seam attack in the competition with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman all waiting to be unleashed.

Cummins is, of course, a welcome addition following the release of both Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Malinga. You do just worry for the Australian, who has endured so many injury problems in the past. He comes into this tournament off the back of a very long Test summer and probably needs a bit of rest. We will probably see the Australian alternating with the Fiz throughout the tournament.

There’s been a bit of shuffling at the top of the order following the departure of Parthiv Patel to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the release of Lendl Simmons. Evin Lewis will likely open the batting alongside the vastly experienced Saurabh Tiwary.

Of course, Mahela Jayawardene always has the option of pushing Rohit Sharma up the order. The skipper really struggled at the start of last season’s tournament and will be looking to make an impact early doors this time around. The lower order power will come from Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya with JP Duminy also an option in the middle / top order. As is always the case in this competition, finding the right balance of overseas players will be key.

Chennai Super Kings
There’s plenty of South African interest when it comes to the Chennai Super Kings. Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir are both veterans of this tournament while Lungi Ngidi’s impressive summer earned him a contract with the franchise.

Indeed, the idea of opening the bowling with Ngidi and Mark Wood will have most CSK fans licking their lips. Stephen Flemming also has the considerable talent of Dwayne Bravo to work with, who is arguably one of the best T20 seamers n the world.

You do just wonder how much the likes of Karn Vinod Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Kasishk Seth and the rest of the bit-part bowlers will get to play with the all-round abilities of Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and Mitchell Santner in the setup.

In terms of batting, there’ll be plenty of pressure on Murali Vijay and du Plessis at the top of the order. If they are able to lay a platform, it’ll allow the likes of MS Dhoni, Raina, Bravo and Jadeja to come in and finish things off.

Verdict: Mumbai Indians 67/100
There’s a reason why the Mumbai Indians consistently challenge at the top end of the ladder. They’ve got a fantastic core group of players that perform consistently well a lot of the time without setting the competition alight with the odd fire-cracker performance. Back them the get the job done against the Super Kings on Saturday. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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