IPL 2020, CSK vs MI: Players To Watch Out For
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians: The opening match of IPL 2020 is a repeat of last year's final with Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni once again going head to head.
IPL 2020 gets underway in the UAE today
Mumbai Indians will face Chennai Super Kings in the opening match
The opening clash is a repeat of last year's IPL final
After a lot doubt surrounding the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has finally returned. IPL 2020 gets underway today with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The opening match of IPL 2020 is a repeat of last year's final with Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni once again going head to head. Both teams boasts of star-studded lineups, but CSK will be missing a couple of key members in Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. Pitches in the UAE are expected to assist spin bowlers, which both teams have plenty of.
Here we look at some of the players who could prove to be the game-changers in today's match.
Rohit Sharma: No matter what the conditions, the Mumbai Indians skipper has done it all in limited-overs cricket and once again will be the key man for his team. Last year, Rohit struggled a bit as per his lofty standards, managing to score 405 runs at an average of 28.92 and surprisingly failing to score a hundred in the entire edition.
However, given his overall IPL record, the Mumbai Indians star is sure to bounce back this year and make his presence felt and what better stage than the IPL 2020 opener against a MS Dhoni team to send a warning to his rivals.
Quinton de Kock: The South African left-hander was the highest run-getter for his team last season and will be hoping for a repeat performance this year. De Kock blasted 529 runs at an average of 35.26 with four half-centuries to his name.
The South African dasher will be the dangerman for Mumbai Indians up the order and could be vital for his team's chances of winning yet another title. However, pitches in the UAE could prove to be De Kock's greatest adversary and it would be interesting to see how he handles the spinners on these wickets.
Jasprit Bumrah: The No.2-ranked ODI bowler in the world will not have to worry about the nature of pitches in the UAE. His toe-crushers don't need any help and can cause great damage in any scenario. However, not having bowled in matches for some time due to the coronavirus-enforced break, it will be interesting to see what rhythm Jasprit Bumrah is in, especially in the initial stages of the tournament.
The Indian pacer was the fifth-highest wicket-taker last season, taking 19 wickets at an economy rate of 6.63.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
MS Dhoni: Captain Cool is back, having not seen any competitive action since India's exit at the hands of New Zealand at the ODI World Cup in England last year. This will also be the first time that CSK skipper will take the field after announcing his retirement from international cricket.
Dhoni was superlative last year for CSK, scoring 416 runs at a mind-boggling average of 83.20 -- thanks to his seven not-outs. Without the burden of international cricket, many have backed Dhoni to once again take IPL by storm. And with Raina not there, CSK's fortunes this year could very well hinge on Dhoni's form with the bat.
Shane Watson: Another player in the CSK camp who has no international duties weighing him down. Watson made a slow start last year but gradually improved as the season wore on. This year, CSK will need their Australian import to hit the ground running and his runs at the top of the order could be crucial to CSK's cause.
Watson scored 398 runs at an average of 23.41 and a strike rate of 127.56.
Ravindra Jadeja: An integral part of the Chennai Super Kings outfit, much is expected of Ravindra Jadeja this season. The all-rounder had some fine performances with both the bat and ball on the international circuit. Jadeja could prove to be the biggest trump card in Dhoni's locker this season, with pitches in the UAE expected to assist spin.
His expertise with the ball in hand is well documented, but Jadeja will need to do more with the bat this year. His tally of 106 runs from 16 matches last season is quite underwhelming taking into consideration his potential with the bat.