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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Mumbai Indians Vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - Preview and probable playing XI

As MI and RCB kick-off proceedings for IPL 2021, here's a look at all the finer details that you need to know.

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will kick-off IPL 2021 on April 9. [Source: IPL]

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will kick-off IPL 2021 on April 9. [Source: IPL]


Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 8 April 2021 1:34 PM GMT

It's been less than five months since the IPL 2020 Final was played on a humid night in Dubai and Mumbai Indians reigned supreme with a peerless fifth IPL win.

Come Friday night, Mumbai Indians begin their title defence in IPL 2021 against an effervescent Royal Challengers Bangalore side hell-bent on finally breaking their dreaded trophy drought.

As the entire country and the world of cricket starts gearing up for yet another two-month long festival known as the Indian Premier League which begins on the 9th of April in Mumbai, the circumstances surrounding the event could not have been grimmer.

The second wave of Coronavirus has hit India harder than the original first wave which took a long time to overcome.

Cases are continuing to pile up and as the city of Mumbai goes into lockdown, several questions have been asked surrounding IPL 2021.

The BCCI and its top executives, however, have made it clear - the show will go on.

As the floodlights are set, and battle plans are drawn out, we take a look at the opening Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore fixture as they prepare to kick-off the IPL 2021 calendar with a blockbuster clash.

MI vs RCB: A look at Mumbai Indians before the game against RCB

Even before the tournament begins, Mumbai Indians are head and shoulders clear of everyone else in the league.

They have won back-to-back IPLs and having retained almost the same squad that delivered the fifth title in UAE last year. There's no reason to believe that MI can't achieve an unprecedented three IPLs in a row.

The batting unit can do both - bat big and bat deep.

The two overseas pacers and Jasprit Bumrah strategy has worked for them repeatedly in the past.

With the help of an outstanding leadership group and a pretty decent spin unit with obvious room for improvement, Mumbai will settle for nothing except the top prize in IPL 2021.

MI will be without the services of Quinton de Kock for the first match who'll still be serving his quarantine period. [Source: The Financial Express]

While Quinton De Kock will miss the first game because of a mandatory seven-day quarantine period, Chris Lynn who was in inspired form during the Big Bash League, is a great backup option.

MI vs RCB: Mumbai Indians' Probable Playing XI

Rohit Sharma (C), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile

MI vs RCB: A look at Royal Challengers Bangalore before the game against MI

Despite making it to the playoffs last season, Royal Challengers Bangalore made several changes to their side for IPL 2021.

They released a host of players before the IPL 2021 Auction, including the likes of Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Chris Morris and Shivam Dube.

Also, they spent a lot of cash on Australian superstar Glenn Maxwell, a major gamble on someone who has struggled in recent IPL seasons.

Maxwell hasn't had a half-decent IPL campaign since 2014 and has managed just two half-centuries in the 61 matches since.

RCB also broke the bank for New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson, a player that had a rather forgettable recent home series against visiting Bangladesh and Australia.

RCB fans will be hopeful about having a great season but much like they did in the UAE last year, they could once again end up depending on Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers for results, a plan that has always backfired.

Devdutt Padikkal tested negative for COVID-19 after the second Test and will join the RCB bubble soon. [Source: Scroll]

Much like Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be without their opener Devdutt Padikkal who had tested positive for COVID-19.

It remains to be seen when he's given the medical green light to join the rest of the squad.

This might open the door for rookie Mohammed Azharuddeen to impress at the top of the order.

MI vs RCB: Royal Challengers Bangalore's Probable Playing XI

Mohammed Azharuddin , Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Dan Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamieson

MI vs RCB: Pitch Report

The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will host the season opener between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. For those unacquainted, IPL 2021 will feature neutral venues for all games.

As for the pitch at Chennai, clues may be picked up from the recent India-England Test match that was played here.

Expect the pitch to remain flat but play really slow. The batsmen will, therefore, have to check their strokes in keeping with the slow nature of the wicket.

Also, spinners will come into the game big time and seamers will resort to taking the pace off the deliveries and bowling cutters more frequently.

MI vs RCB: Match Details

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Date: 9th April, 2021

Time: 7:30 PM IST.

MI vs RCB: Live Streaming

In the Indian Subcontinent, the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network.

Fans can also stream the match live on Disney+ Hotstar.

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