Hello & welcome to the biggest & the most competitive T20 tournament in the world.
(Not as per Shahid Afridi though)
FCG will be covering their third IPL tournament this year (since 2016), the most by any fantasy predictor.
Coming to IPL 2018’s first game,
CSK are back!! One of the most successful & most loved franchise in IPL will be back in action after 683 days.
And who they are competing in their comeback game? MUMBAI INDIANS!
The most successful franchise in IPL now with 3 titles & most importantly the only team against which CSK has a win percentage of less than 50.
A MI-CSK clash will be a perfect start to the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League considering how intense this rivalry has been over the years.
The defending champs have done well to preserve their core & have also added new fast bowling assets in their squad which will be a big relief for Bumrah.
Ishan, Lewis, Rohit (C), Hardik, Suryakumar, Pollard, Krunal, Akila/McCLeneghan, Chahar, Bumrah, Fizz.
*The four expected overseas for MI should be Lewis, Pollard, Mustafizur & for the last spot there should be a toss up b/w Akila & McCLeneghan.
*The first choice pacer for MI is definitely Pat Cummins & must play ahead of Akila & McCLeneghan but due to his heavy workload in the last test series he might not be risked. And also, he has just arrived yesterday & didn’t participated in the practice session as well.
*Even though McCLeneghan was unsold in the auction & came as an injury replacement, he’s impressed in the practice games.
*Chahar should play as their specialist spinner but if MI opt for Akila, Sangwan can play ahead of him as Wankhede doesn’t offer much for the spinners.
(Though it gets slower as the tournament progresses)
X Factor: Lewis & Hardik
Exciting new talent: Tajinder Dhillon, Rahul Chahar & Mohsin Khan.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS:
When it comes to marketing, there’s nobody even close to CSK. To announce themselves, they have reincarnated the same vintage CSK with MSD, Raina, Bravo, Jadeja, Vijay & Faf.
Mitchell Santner who was their best buy this season (as per me) has been injured but they can still provide spin bowlers to other teams on loan if they want.
But when it comes to fast bowling resources, you know you are going to struggle when the leader of your fast bowling department is Shardul Thakur.
Ngidi & Wood are a good addition, but can’t play both in every game.
Vijay, Watson, Raina, Dhoni, Jadhav, Jadeja, Bravo, Bhajji, Shardul, Wood, Tahir.
*CSK looks really confused about their overall team structure, specially their opening combination.
Fleming in his press conference has named almost everyone as a contender for the opening spot including Billings, Shorey, Vijay & even Rayudu (Yeah i’m not drunk).
*Billings has impressed everyone with this practice game performances & is a strong contender for the opening slot.
*Tahir was the pick of the bowlers in the practice games & should be a confirmed starter considering how well he bowled but Fleming has confirmed Bhajji & Jadeja will play & picking 3 spinners in Wankhede with the dew around will be a huge gamble.
*Faf is recovering from the finger injury & will not feature in the first game.
*Very difficult to pick both Rayudu & Jadhav in the middle order. As Harsha Bhogle said, Rayudu can be this season’s Badrinath for CSK. If both plays, Vijay has to be benched which looks unlikely in the first game.
*Our four expected overseas will be Bravo, Watson, Wood, Tahir/Billings.
X Factor: Raina
Exciting Young Talent: Dhruv Shorey & KM Asif.