About the Match
After the thrilling World T20 event, it is time for the highly successful Indian Premier League T20 series to begin; the first match will be held between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants on 9th April at Mumbai. Cricket fans from around the globe eagerly waiting for the ninth edition of the league featuring their favourite stars, which will see the reigning champions Mumbai Indians fighting hard to retain the trophy; this season will also see two new teams coming into the competition including the Supergiants. The inaugural match on Saturday will surely see a lot of fireworks as the hosts try to start the campaign on a winning note.
Rohit Sharma had a disappointing run at the World T20 but he will try to start afresh and lead the current champions from the front; the Windies match-winner Lendl Simmons will be a great asset in the batting line-up while the in-form Jos Buttler brings his expertise to the table. Ambati Rayudu, Parthiv Patel, the experienced Kieron Pollard and others like Shreyas Gopal and Merchant de Lange will be useful with the bat.
The bowling department has loads of talent such as the young Jasprit Bumrah, who showcased his skills as a fast bowler in the recently concluded World T20, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan the seamers from New Zealand, the magical Lasith Malinga and the refreshing Hardik Pandya, who won many accolades for his match-winning efforts recently. Spinners Harbhajan Singh, Unmukt Chand and Suchith along with medium pacer Vinay Kumar will bring variety and depth to the attack.
Overall, they have a well-balanced team with strong batsmen and experienced bowlers, who will go all out to help win the title yet again.
Rising Pune Supergiants
Captain cool MS Dhoni will be seen in new colours as he takes on the mantle for the newly formed team from Pune; he brings tremendous experience in leading teams to victories and will play an important role with the bat in the middle order. Explosive batsmen like Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith from Australia and the Protean Faf du Plessis will add a competitive edge to the batting line-up and along with others like Ajinkya Rahane, Thisara Perera, Saurabh Tiwary, Mitchell Marsh and Peter Handscomb, Supergiants look strong to take on any opposition.
The bowling squad has the highly successful spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, youngsters Ankit Sharma and Baba Aparajit, speedsters Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Albie Morkel, Ashok Dinda, Scott Boland and all-rounders like Rajat Bhatia, Mitchell Marsh, Ishwar Pandey and Thisara Perera.
They are a new team with lots of experience and young talent that will help them overcome challenges; if they can combine well and perform under pressure, then surely this will be the team to watch out for this season.
Historically, Mumbai Indians take time to get going in the tournament. Mumbai Wicket is a batting paradise and toss will play a very crucial role as we saw throughout ICC World T20. Dhoni is an expert in such conditions and despite being a new side, there will be plenty of support for them. Although Mumbai Indians have the home advantage and many match-winners on their side, we feel Supergiants under Dhoni’s leadership will come out all guns blazing to win their first T20 match