Rohit Sharma-MS DhoniThe defending Champions Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings in the opening clash of the much awaited IPL-2018. While the Mumbai Indians continue to have the same core like the previous seasons, the Super Kings who are making a comeback in the league, after facing a 2-year suspension look a relatively newer side. However, some of the names associated with brand CSK are very much part of the yellow brigade.

Mumbai Indians have been horrible starters and have lost 5 consecutive opening games before this. When the MI-CSK rivalry resumes in 2018, the Mumbai Indians would be looking to set that straight and start off with a win, which is always a confidence booster going into a long tournment.

CSK, on the other hand, will also want to be back to winning ways after a period which brought much disgrace to the franchise.

Skipper Rohit Sharma is the key player to watch out for in the batting department as far as the Mumbai Indians are concerned. When Hitman gets set, he often makes it count. Evin Lewis, the Left-handed destructive batsman from West Indies will also be eager to make a mark in his first stint in the league and is capable of winning the game single-handedly.

As far as CSK batting is concerned, the key player is Suresh Raina. Mr. IPL as he is nicknamed is the leading run scorer among Indian batsmen in the T-20 format. Raina has been in good nick lately but hasn’t been able to convert the quick fire cameos into something big. Raina’s form is crucial to Chennai’s fate this season.

Along with him, MS Dhoni is most likely to bat up the order and play a dominant role with the bat, not only finishing the games but also constructing the innings as and when required. With more balls under his belt before the death overs begin, Dhoni is still as good as anybody can get.

As far as bowling is concerned, Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rehman is one of the deadliest pairs that will be on display this season. With both of them having the skill to bowl in the first six as well as death overs, where the batsmen are looking to go after them, it would be a fascinating contest.

The Chennai Super Kings will have high hopes from their spinners as well as Lungi Ngidi and Shardul Thakur. However, Dwayne Bravo remains the X-factor in the setup and if he consistently bowls to his strength, it would be very difficult to take him on.

Eagerly await the battle between Harbhajan Singh and Mumbai Indians, an IPL special. The IPL opener will be played today (7 April 2018) 20:00 Hrs (IST) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.