IPL 2019: Looking ahead at the MI vs DC encounter
While Mumbai Indians is a known name, Delhi will come into this year's IPL as a new team with a new name. Delhi have consistently finished in the bottom half of the table over the past few years, and they would hope the name change also signals a change in their fortunes.
Going by squad strength, both these teams have quality, hard-hitting batsmen in the team, who can score big and snatch the match away from the opposition. The bowling attack is also on par. However, going by performances, Mumbai's bowling attack probably has an edge over that of the Capitals.
Both these teams also boast of a good reserve of quality foreign players.
Overall, MI and DC look good enough to be on par with each other. And if they select the perfect XI, either team can win this match.
As far as success is concerned, Delhi is yet to win an IPL. Let alone winning the IPL, Delhi has never even played an IPL final.
On the other hand, MI is the most successful team in the history of the tournament, winning the IPL 3 times.
Head to Head
Mumbai have played Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) 22 times so far. And out of these 22 games, both have won 11 each.
This makes it one of the most balanced head to head comparisons of the tournament.
In the last 5 matches between these two teams, Delhi have won four, while Mumbai have been able to win just one. However, the match that Mumbai won, in 2017, was won by 146 runs - the biggest victory by a margin of runs in the IPL till date.
Last year, it was the match between these two teams that knocked Mumbai out of the tournament. That was only the fourth time that Mumbai could not make it to the playoffs.
Mumbai Indians will be relying on three of their most trustworthy players to win this opening match for them. These three players are the ones that the team retained before the IPL last year - their captain Rohit Sharma, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
The skipper will be looking to start his IPL on a good note after a below average IPL last year, where he failed to cross the 300-run mark for the first time. His captaincy skills are lauded all over the world, and his batting is something that even the greats of the game have appreciated.
Bumrah is a no-brainer in the list of key players. With 17 wickets in the last season, Bumrah did what Malinga used to do for MI earlier. He is a threat at the start of the innings and as much a threat at the death.
Hardik Pandya had an outstanding IPL last year - his best till date. In 13 matches, he scored 260 runs and accounted for 18 wickets. He is a floater for the MI team in the batting order and a livewire on the field.
Delhi Capitals will bank upon Shikhar Dhawan, a proven Delhi lad who is a regular in the Indian team. He will be rejoining his home team after some great years at the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Delhi will hope that Dhawan fires right from the first match.
Delhi will also like their second opener, young Prithvi Shaw, to show some fireworks at the top. At such a young age, Shaw is already considered a superstar in the making.
The third key player for the Capitals will be Trent Boult. He had a good IPL last year, and considering the form that he is carrying right now in the international circuit, he will definitely be a player to watch out for in this intense encounter.