Two-time defending champions of IPL, Mumbai Indians will resume their IPL 2021 campaign tomorrow evening at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in a match against the Chennai Super Kings. The 'El Clasico of the IPL' will kick off the UAE leg of the competition.
Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings battled each other twice in the United Arab Emirates last year, where both franchises emerged victorious once. CSK won the game in Abu Dhabi, while MI recorded a big win in Sharjah.
With the two high-profile teams set to cross paths in Dubai tomorrow, let's have a look at Mumbai Indians' predicted playing XI for their first IPL 2021 match in the UAE leg.
Openers - Rohit Sharma (C) and Quinton de Kock (WK)
The Indo-South African pair of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock should open the innings for the Mumbai Indians tomorrow evening. Both batsmen are proven match-winners.
Even if one of them plays the entire 20 overs, the Mumbai Indians will be in a winning position. Sharma and de Kock had a partnership of 71 runs against CSK during the first phase of IPL 2021.
Middle Order - Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard
Suryakumar Yadav will continue batting at number three, while Ishan Kishan should be back in the playing XI. The wicket-keeper batsman had a forgettable first phase of IPL 2021, but he should be picked for the first match of the UAE leg as he performed exceptionally well in IPL 2020 in the Gulf nation last year.
Kieron Pollard played a knock of 87 runs against CSK during the first phase of IPL 2021. The Mumbai Indians should send him to bat ahead of the Pandya brothers.
All Rounders - Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya
The Pandya brothers were inconsistent during the first phase of IPL 2021. While Krunal Pandya still managed to score 100 runs and pick up three wickets in seven matches, his brother Hardik could only manage 52 runs in seven games.
Hardik is expected to bowl for the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming matches. If the Pandya brothers play to their full potential, it will be challenging for all franchises to stop MI.
Bowlers - Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Rahul Chahar
After Ishan Kishan's likely return to the team, the Mumbai Indians can bench Jimmy Neesham and pick Nathan Coulter-Nile as their fourth overseas player. Coulter-Nile bowled well for the team in the UAE last year.
Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Rahul Chahar are locked in for the last three positions. Boult and Bumrah's combination has troubled even the best batters in the world, while Chahar was the most successful MI bowler in the first phase of IPL 2021.
Mumbai Indians' predicted XI for 1st match in UAE leg
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Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar.