It’s Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma. Two different kinds of captains and leaders. One whose body language bristles with aggression. The other who is more laid-back but street smart.
In other words, a gun-slinger versus a smooth operator.
The IPL lung opener between defending champion Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore could prove intriguing.
Our correspondents Vijay Lokapally, Shayan Acharya and Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya discuss the men’s side’s season thus far and what to look forward to in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
The surface for the day/night game at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Thursday should provide good carry in the first half but could assist the spinners later on. Dew could be a big factor.
For RCB, much hinges on the opening pair of Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal – he has recovered well from Covid – but they will be against the deadly combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
Bumrah swings the new ball away and then delivers potent yorkers. Boult will be a threat with his swing and left-armer’s angle.
RCB, though, has batting firepower. Apart from the gifted AB de Villiers who can innovate and create effortlessly, the side has the destructive Glenn Maxwell.
RCB would do well if it utilises the wonderfully fluent batting potential of Washington Sundar. He is more than an accurate off-spinner.
Mumbai Indians is a complete side. The brutal Rohit can win matches off his own bat.
Then you have strokeful Quinton de Kock, whose availability for the match could be a touch and go affair.
And the side has stupendous domestic talent with the willow; the explosive Ishan Kishan, the smooth-stroking Suryakumar Yadav, the big-hitting Hardik Pandya, and the dynamic Krunal Pandya.
Then there is a palm tree hitter Kieron Pollard.
In the RCB attack, exciting Kiwi paceman Kyle Jamieson will be watched with keen interest. Yuzvendra Chahal could also enter the picture.
The opening duel could be a titanic affair.