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MI vs RCB, IPL 2021 Match Preview & Prediction

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A nearly two-month-long cricketing journey begins on Friday as defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, Mumbai Indians (MI) take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening fixture of the 2021 season. Though the head-to-head battle and overall form does suggest that MI are more likely to emerge victorious, the game of cricket is known to spring surprises.

Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians arguably have the most balanced squad in the T20 league, especially since the Indian core consists of players like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, etc. Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, had to make significant changes to their team once again ahead of the 14th edition of the league despite making it to the playoffs last term.

There were doubts of South African opening batsman Quinton de Kock being available for the season opener having only arrived in Chennai a couple of days ago. De Kock was a part of the limited-overs series against Pakistan back home and reportedly sought a bubble-to-bubble transfer as he reached Chennai in a chartered plane.

There were suggestions that De Kock could be available for the opener but Mumbai Indians confirmed that it would not be the case as the batsman is still in quarantine. In his absence, either Chris Lynn or Ishan Kishan is expected to open alongside skipper Rohit Sharma.

The RCB squad was reunited with Devdutt Padikkal only a couple of days before the opener after the left-handed batsman was cleared of Covid-19, having been tested positive on March 22.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mumbai Indians take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021 opener in Chennai
  • MI will be without Quinton de Kock for the season opener, with the opening batsman still in quarantine
  • RCB will also miss Daniel Sams as the Aussie all-rounder had tested positive for Covid-19 a couple of days ago

A nearly two-month-long cricketing journey begins on Friday as defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, Mumbai Indians (MI) take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening fixture of the 2021 season. Though the head-to-head battle and overall form does suggest that MI are more likely to emerge victorious, the game of cricket is known to spring surprises.

Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians arguably have the most balanced squad in the T20 league, especially since the Indian core consists of players like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, etc. Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, had to make significant changes to their team once again ahead of the 14th edition of the league despite making it to the playoffs last term.

There were doubts of South African opening batsman Quinton de Kock being available for the season opener having only arrived in Chennai a couple of days ago. De Kock was a part of the limited-overs series against Pakistan back home and reportedly sought a bubble-to-bubble transfer as he reached Chennai in a chartered plane.

There were suggestions that De Kock could be available for the opener but Mumbai Indians confirmed that it would not be the case as the batsman is still in quarantine. In his absence, either Chris Lynn or Ishan Kishan is expected to open alongside skipper Rohit Sharma.

The RCB squad was reunited with Devdutt Padikkal only a couple of days before the opener after the left-handed batsman was cleared of Covid-19, having been tested positive on March 22.

Padikkal hasn’t had many practice sessions since and his availability for the opener against Mumbai hence remains a doubt. The joy of Padikkal’s return, however, was cut short as the Royal Challengers learned that all-rounder Daniel Sams has contracted Covid-19. Though there’s a chance that Padikkal may feature in the playing XI against MI, Sams is confirmed to be out.

Match Prediction: Despite the absence of Quinton de Kock, Mumbai Indians are the favourites to come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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