MI vs RCB: Can Rohit Sharma give Mumbai Indians winning start and break 8 year long jinx?

IPL 2021, MI vs RCB, Rohit Sharma
MI vs RCB: Can Rohit Sharma give Mumbai Indians winning start and break 8 year long jinx?

MI vs RCB in IPL 2021 – Can Mumbai Indians skipper break his biggest IPL Jinx? :  Rohit Sharma is hailed as the most successful skipper in IPL history. And why not. He is the only captain to win five IPL titles. It will now be his eighth year as Mumbai Indians skipper when the defending champions take on Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the season opener on April 9 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. In these eight-long years, he has transformed MI into a formidable force. The armour has been nearly uncrackable with each passing year. However, there is a small chink in it. Rohit has never won his opening game of a season as a captain, a jinx he has failed to find an answer to.

MI vs RCB in IPL 2021 – Can Mumbai Indians skipper break his biggest IPL Jinx?  Rohit was handed over the reins in 2013 after then MI captain Ricky Ponting stepped down mid-way due to inconsistent performance. Since than Rohit has been hailed as one of the most inspirations leader in IPL – but a leader whose team starts little slow.

  • In 8 IPL Seasons – Under Rohit, Mumbai Indians has never won an opening match.
  • In 2020 MS Dhoni’s CSK defeated MI by 5 Wickets
  • In last 8 years, DC, CSK, KKR, RCB, RPS – all have won the opening matches against Mumbai Indians.

MI vs RCB in IPL 2021 – Mumbai Indians hailed as the strongest squad under Rohit Sharma: Cut to April 2021… they arguably boast the best playing XI. Mumbai posses some top quality Indian players who when amalgamated with the overseas giants make a perfect romping machine. Instead of making major hauls to their lineup, they have stuck to the formula of backing the core — Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah — and build a team around them.

Rohit-led Mumbai will enter this year’s competition with nearly the same 2020 title-winning squad.  So can the right-handed batsman finally find a way to have a perfect start to an IPL season or will it be the same old story?

IPL 2021, MI vs RCB: Mumbai Indians squad analysis

A batting line-up dotted with power-hitters coupled with a solid pack of death bowlers makes five-time champions Mumbai Indians a dominant unit in the upcoming IPL.  But the absence of quality spinners could hurt them in pursuit of a hat-trick of title wins. After lifting the trophy in 2019, Mumbai once again won in 2020 when the lucrative league was shifted to UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Strength:

  • Their core has remained the same over the years
  • MI’s batting is their biggest strength. They possess a solid opening duo in the form of skipper Rohit and South African Quinton De Kock, and if needed, have an option in Australian hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn.
  • The ever-improving Suryakumar Yadav, young Ishan Kishan, both of whom starred on their India debuts, the Pandya brothers — all-rounders Hardik and Krunal — and West Indian Kieron Pollard, make for a very strong middle-order.
  • On the fast bowling front, the team possesses one of the finest in Jasprit Bumrah and New Zealand’s Trent Boult are lethal in powerplay and deathovers.

Weaknesses:

  • Spin department looks a bit light, especially on Chennai’s Chepauk track. Lack of a wicket-taking spinner could hurt the Mumbai Indians’ prospects.
  • Left-arm spinner Krunal is more of a restrictive option and there is Rahul Chahar, is still a product in the making.
  • Mumbai have roped in experienced leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, but if the team persists with Krunal and Chahar, he could end up warming the benches.

Mumbai have a strong A-side but don’t have enough replacements for each slot and have relatively young players as their bench strength.

IPL 2021, MI vs RCB: How does this MI squad fair against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers?

Armed with exciting new recruits, including Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson, perennial under-achievers RCB will hope to battle hard in their bid for the elusive IPL trophy. Having released 10 players ahead of the auction, the team management focussed on strengthening the batting and pace bowling units.

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Strength:

  • RCB have assembled a strong batting line up on paper. Run-machine Kohli, young wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Azharuddeen and Devdutt Padikkal give them a lot of options in top-order.
  • De Villiers and Maxwell add the fire-power to the middle-order while Sachin Baby, experienced Daniel Christian and Washington Sundar add to the depth.
  • RCB possess a potent spin battery and it will be playing a major chunk of their matches on the slow tracks in Chennai and Ahmedabad. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will be joined by the immensely accurate off-spinner Washington, who was Kohli’s go-to man in the powerplays last season.

Weaknesses:

  • But it is the RCB pace department where the likes of Rohit, Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan would like to attack the most.
  • The RCB pace squad does not inspire confidence. Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj lack the experience of bowling with the white ball and have a propensity of leaking runs.
  • Jamieson has struggled in T20Is and has no experience of playing in India.

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Mumbai have a very good chance to break the jinx given their strong overall playing Xi quality but they will have to vary of Maxwell, Kohli and de Villiers who on a given day can claw out win single-handedly.

IPL, MI vs RCB: When is Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL Game 1?

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will play the first game on April 9. The game will be telecast live on Star Sports, while the live streaming will be available on Disney+Hotstar at 7:30 pm.