Merely five months after lifting the IPL title in UAE, Mumbai Indians will return to the field to defend their champions tag. The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League starts today when Rohit Sharma's men take on Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.
Mumbai Indians, perhaps in the near two-decade existence of Twenty20 format, is a side that will be remembered for its aura. If Rohit fails, then Quinton de Kock will certainly succeed. If both fail, Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav could scare the daylights out of the opposition.
Rohit's opposite number is the national captain, who is ready to open once again but the squad composition of RCB doesn't inspire the highest confidence. Glenn Maxwell has again been picked for a bomb and New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson has been made an overnight multi-millionaire by the franchise despite him being untested on Indian dust-bowls.
Devdutt Padikkal will be in his second season with teams analysing him way more but Yuzvendra Chahal seems to have lost his mojo. Nevertheless, Chahal will be aiming to put the international performances behind him and start afresh.
As the two sides clash in the opener, let's take a look at the Dream11 Predictions:
Wicketkeepers: Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan returns from his international assignment against England, and has been in sublime form. Kishan was an integral part of MI's winning campaign in 2020.
The decision to not take AB de Villiers was indeed tough, but we believe that a lack of match practice at a professional level may leave the South African rusty in the opening stage. His last professional match was also for RCB, back in November last year.
Batsmen: Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Devdutt Padikkal
Kohli will assume the role of an opener alongside Padikkal, who was brilliant for RCB last season. The left-handed youngster, who recently recovered from COVID-19 was on song for his domestic side Karnataka in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, and the duo may prove lethal in the upcoming edition.
Suryakumar Yadav, meanwhile, remains MI's most important player with the bat. The batsman has remained the most consistent performer for MI throughout the previous season, and was in sublime form during the T20I series against England. For this reason, he is the captain of our side.
All-rounders: Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Washington Sundar
Kieron Pollard joined the Mumbai Indians camp on Thursday and returns from a stellar limited-overs season for West Indies as the captain of the national team. Arguably the most important part of the side, Pollard will combine with Hardik Pandya to provide MI a strong finish in the innings.
Pollard is the vice-captain of our side.
With Pandya gaining more confidence with the ball throughout his international outings, he will also remain a key figure with his four-over quota.
Sundar was one of the most economical bowlers for the RCB last season, and can be a handy option with the bat as well.
Bumrah and Boult tormented the opposition through the powerplays and the death overs and they will, once again, remain the key members of the side. Rahul Chahar, meanwhile, remains the primary spinner of the side despite the acquisition of Piyush Chawla.
Chahal, meanwhile, has a knack for taking wickets at crucial stage and will be aiming for a strong return to form as well.