Mumbai Indians, captained by Rohit Sharma, will kick start their Indian Premier League (IPL) title defence against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Friday. The match is expected to be a cracking contest as both teams have some of the best Twenty20 players from across the world in their setup. While the defending champions did not tinker much with their core at the player auction, RCB invested heavily in overseas all-rounders by roping in Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson for the upcoming season. Since Rohit took charge of the Mumbai-based franchise, they have been the team to beat in the IPL.
Rohit took over the reins from Ricky Ponting midway through the 2013 season and in the same year, he led Mumbai to their first IPL title.
He went on to win four more titles in the next seven years, becoming the most successful leader in the history of the tournament.
Mumbai Indians’ juggernaut floored every other team in the 13th edition of the IPL as they clinched their fifth title.
As Mumbai gear up for their title defence, they also have the chance to become the only team in the IPL to win three titles on the trot.
RCB, who rely heavily on their batting, will be hoping to start their season with a win against a formidable team like Mumbai Indians.
Despite having some of the greats of the game in their repertoire, RCB are yet to get their hands on the IPL trophy.
The Virat Kohli-led side have been part of three IPL finals but they have failed on all three occasions.
Last year, Kohli took RCB to the playoffs but they lost in the eliminator to SunRisers Hyderabad.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, no team will play any games on their home ground in this year’s IPL.
All the matches will be played across six venues — Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jimmy Neesham, Arjun Tendulkar, Marco Jansen, Piyush Chawla, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohsin Khan, Yudhvir Singh.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers, Sachin Baby, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Finn Allen, Srikar Bharat, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel.
Match starts at 7.30 pm IST.
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