Mumbai: Defending champions Mumbai Indians and and two-time winners Chennai Super Kings, the most successful teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL), will begin the 11th edition of the cash-rich tournament with a mouthwatering clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Hosts Mumbai, who have laid their hands on the coveted crown thrice (2013, 2015, 2017) will be led by India opener Rohit Sharma who is the most successful captain in the cash-rich T20 league having led Mumbai to a treble of titles. But on Saturday, his wards will be up against a team who will be eager to re-establish their dominance after returning to the tournament following a two-year ban.
CSK have a formidable track record in the IPL and have notched up the most number of appearances in the final. Apart from winning the title twice, they have finished runners-up on four occasions.
Chennai are led by India’s 50-over and T20 World Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will himself have a point to prove in his twilight days. The southern outfit has a formidable batting and bowling line up with the likes of Suresh Raina, back in the Chennai Super Kings yellow jersey, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis adding teeth to their batting.
In the bowling department, England pacer Mark Wood and South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi will lead the pace battery with veteran offie Harbhajan Singh and celebrated South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir taking care of the spin unit.
For Mumbai, apart from Rohit, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, West Indies star Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya have been retained from last year and are all a force to reckon with.
The Mumbai pace bowling department is also promising this year with the likes of Bumrah, Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman.