IPL 2018: Old rivals to kick-start the entertainment season

The captains of all the eight teams pose with the trophy

Cricket resumes as in the opening match of IPL 2018, defending champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns with arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings, who are making a return after two years of exile

Match facts:

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings

When: Saturday, 8pm

Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

What to expect: At Wankhede, it’s always a run-fest. Expect the team winning the toss to bowl first.

Probable line-up:

MI: Rohit Sharma (C), Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya/Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Mustafizur Rahman/Pat Cummins, Jasprit Bumrah

CSK: MS Dhoni(C), Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma/ Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi

The eleventh season of the Indian Premier League will kickstart on Saturday with two heavy-weights, Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), fighting each other for a perfect start. While the defending champions will bank on their home condition and home crowd support, CSK will be itching to make an impact straight away as they are returning to the IPL after a suspension of two years.

The rivalry known as the Super-Indian Derby will resume at Wankhede Stadium when the two teams, led by current Indian Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma (MI) and former Indian Captain MS Dhoni (CSK), will take field on Saturday. In a neck-to-neck contest, MI has won 13 out of 24 matches while CSK has emerged victorious on the rest 11 occasions. At Wankhede, in the 10 matches played, the home team has a slightly better record of six to four against the visitors. On the title front, the Indians have the most number of titles (three), while CSK stands at the second position with two titles along with Kolkata Knight Riders.

In IPL 2018, a total 185 players (as of now) will take part in the eight teams. 125 of these players are Indians, while 60 are foreign players, Mohandas Menon, a renowned cricket expert tweeted. 14 out of the 60 foreign players are Australian, most from a foreign country, he informed.

A lot of new faces and the rising talents will also be a centre of attraction for the cricket lovers this season. A bunch of under 19 players, who won India the Under 19 World Cup under veteran Rahul Dravid as coach, will take part in the IPL for different teams. These names include captain Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Daredevils), dashing top-order batsman Shubhman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Indian ‘Shoaib Akhtar’, Kamlesh Nagarkoti (Kolkata Knight Riders).

The eleventh season of the IPL will commence on April 7 and the final will be played on May 27. The eight teams will face each-other twice in the group stage; once at their home and once at the opposition’s. The top two teams after the group stage will face each-other for a direct berth in the final in Qualifier one on May 22. The loser of the match will face the winner of eliminator (May 23) played between the teams at the third and the fourth position in Qualifier two (May 25).

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