Last year’s IPL champions get set to take on a revamped-Chennai Super Kings after serving their two year suspension in the competition. Indian supporters all across the country are ecstatic to see MS Dhoni back in that distinct yellow uniform, while the Mumbai Indians will be looking to spoil the party & continue their brilliant form guide in 2018.
IPL 10 was certainly the year of the Mumbai Indians, they were simply outstanding when it came to winning the games that mattered. A lot of that success came down to the standout-bowling performances from star-seam bowling duo Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan who offered plenty with the ball in hand last year. Mumbai are set to introduce a third specialist quick to the attack with Australian speedster Pat Cummins jumping over from the Delhi Daredevils where he collected 12 wickets in last year’s competition. Other notable names include Hardik Pandya and Bangladeshi young gun Mustafizur Rahman who has made a name for himself in the Tigers national team. With an array of talented bowlers to choose from, Mumbai look set to have another successful campaign with plenty of X factor in the field to back up their batting which is a huge bonus. Skipper Rohit Sharma will once again be the focal point at the top of the order for Mumbai, he didn’t have the most productive time with the bat in 2017 but still managed three fifties from his 17 games. That tournament wasn’t reflective of Rohit’s unique ability to take a game away in a matter of overs, he’s the type of batsman that can destroy any bowler on any given day. Some major International firepower with the willow for Mumbai in 2018 includes JP Duminy, Evin Lewis and Kieron Pollard which really does amplify their star line-up. The loss of wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel looms as a costly one, leading Mumbai in the runs department in IPL 10 with 395. With some new personal in this side, do they have the capability to improve on last year’s efforts? The answer is just around the corner.
It’s been quite some time for Chennai in the wilderness, but they’re finally back! They were the heavyweights of the competition over a three-year period (2009, 2010 & 2011), now they find themselves back at the starting line with a heap of work to do if they’re to gain some respectability back in the IPL. Some of the trademark names who represented the Super Kings a number of years ago have returned to the side as they look to shake things up in 2018, one of whom is captain MS Dhoni, Chennai’s spiritual leader so to speak. Other notable names returning to the squad include Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina who all represented other IPL teams in 2017. Many are saying that this seasons IPL is set to be the most competitive yet, meaning most, if not all the teams are fairly-even in terms of squad strength. This should make for a fascinating opening game to kick off 2018, the reigning champions up against a raring-to-go Chennai Super Kings who will be looking to impose themselves early in the fixture. Suresh Raina had a brilliant 2017 campaign representing the Gujarat Lions, scoring 442 runs at 40.18 from his 14 games. Maybe the most promising aspect of this side delves deep in the bowling department where they possess four quality spinners. Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma are all quality options that Chennai can rely upon for success, so it will be interesting to see who makes the cut for the tournament opener against Mumbai. The Super Kings have also recruited some pretty handy overseas signings in the recent player auction as well with Shane Watson and Sam Billings the most notable of the lot.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Mumbai Indians | 1st match | Mumbai
- Rohit Sharma
- Hardik Pandya
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Evin Lewis
Wildcard pick – Ishan Kishan
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chennai Super Kings | 1st match | Mumbai
- Suresh Raina
- MS Dhoni
- Dwayne Bravo
- Shane Watson
- Ravindra Jadeja
Wildcard pick – Murali Vijay
- Injury Update: Faf du plessis is ruled out of the 1st game.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Evin Lewis 2. Ishan Kishan (wk) 3. Rohit Sharma © 4. Krunal Pandya 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Suryakumar Yadav 8. Pat Cummins/Mustafizur Rahman 9. Jasprit Bumrah 10. Mitchell McClenaghan 11. Rahul Chahar.
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Murali Vijay 2. Shane Watson 3. Suresh Raina 4. Sam Billings 5. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 6. Kedar Jadhav/Ambati Rayudu 7. Dwayne Bravo 8. Ravindra Jadeja 9. Harbhajan Singh 10. Lungi Ngidi 11. Shardul Thakur.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.