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IPL 2018, Match 1, Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – Expectation vs Reality

This is the expectation before the start of the match. Wait for the reality check that comes up right after the match…

Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina
Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. (Photo Source: Twitter)

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) entering its second decade, some of the eight franchises will look to continue their successful legacy, while others will want to turn their fortunes around. The opening clash of the eleventh edition of IPL will involve two of the most successful sides in the history of the league. Chennai Super Kings will return with a bang after their 2-year long suspension to take on Mumbai Indians, the defending champions at their fortress, Wankhede.

Mumbai have an edge over the Super Kings in the head to head battle and lead 12-10 in the 22 matches they have played so far. Things are likely to go upwards for MI as their team looks much stronger on paper compared to CSK. However, that is just a part of our expectations. Some of the players that are most likely to feature in the MI Playing XI in the first match also edge past the players expected to start in the CSK Playing XI based on current form.

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Read on and find out if your gut-feeling and instinct is on the same page as ours and if we have the same expectations for the MI vs CSK clash.

Ishan Kishan’s stunning form will translate

If Ishan Kishan’s batting exhibition in the HornNotOKPlease T20 Cup was any indication, it’s safe to expect the wicketkeeper-batsman to begin the proceedings with an absolute carnage. It may have been an exhibition match but there was no compromise on the quality of cricket that was played nor on the quality of players who were part of the match.

The 19-year-old scored a century off 42 balls against a bowling unit comprising of Jasprit Bumrah, Shivam Mavi, Shardul Thakur and Harbhajan Singh. Thakur and Bhajji, in all likelihood, are certain in the CSK squad for the opening match. Kishan hit them out of the same park once and hopefully, will do it again. If both him and Evin Lewis get going together while opening together tomorrow, we are in for a show.

Ishan-Kishan-Thor

Business time for Mr IPL

The line is pretty apt for MI skipper Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, but you’re kidding yourself if you’re not expecting anything great from Chinna Thala. He is back where he belongs, in the yellow jersey and that in itself is a big driving force for him and MS Dhoni in particular. He looked good against South Africa in his comeback series and showed a few great glimpses in the Nidahas Trophy as well.

The 31-year-old doesn’t quite have the numbers to back what I’m saying because he there is only one instance where he fell inches short of a half century in the eight matches he played since his comeback. There were some terrific starts only for him to lose his wicket early in an attempt to go after every ball. However, he has looked attacking which is a plus point and the fact that IPL brings out the best in him is what keeps my expectations high.

MI will begin the campaign on a good note

MI are now remembered as a team who start low-key but manage to up their game as the tournament proceeds and eventually win the title. Expect things to begin differently this time around, MI may open their account with a win in the first game itself while CSK will have to wait a bit to give their fans what they have been waiting for since 2 years.

Wait for the reality check that comes up right after the match…

Reality

Ishan Kishan did show a glimpse

Well, we were right about it. Only about that, but I guess 1 expectation being turned into reality out of 3 is good for a start. MI lost early wickets with Evin Lewis being dismissed on duck on his debut while Rohit Sharma’s attacking strokeplay did not quite work yesterday. However, Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan did a terrific job to recover from the early blows and steadied the ship. While the former took the lead by hitting 43 off 29, the latter displayed his skills with 29-ball 40. Viewers would still be hoping to see Kishan at the top of the order alongside Lewis, a combination that may perhaps be tried out sometime later in the tournament.

Business not even close to getting started

Raina was dismissed at 4, meaning no business. Nor did we see the glimpse. Rohit, in fact, was reckless in his appraoch since he was attacking without playing the waiting game. It eventually brought his undoing as he walked back to the pavillion with 15 runs scored off 18. However, undermine them at your own peril.

MI have started on a losing note again

It was too thrilling a match to start the season with. It was a miraculous innings from Dwayne Bravo that put MI on the backfoot after being in control of the game from the start. The final touches were added by Kedar Jadhav making it a comeback to remember for CSK while leaving MI fans in shock.

However, MI fans will not be too disappointed because they have been losing their opening games for the last six seasons and have managed to stage a comeback when it really matters several times. Even if they lose a few more games, they will know better than to lose heart because they have history of winning the title despite a terrible first half of the tournament.

Here are the little known facts about the IPL:

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