The opening match of IPL 2018 sees last year’s champions the Mumbai Indians host the Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
In the outright betting Mumbai are one of the pre-tournament favourites trading around 9/2 and the Super Kings can be backed at around 13/2. We have a whole host of pre-tournament markets which can be viewed here.
Mumbai renew local rivalry with the Super Kings for the first time since 2015 and both these teams have a consistent record when it comes to going deep in this tournament. Last season Mumbai topped the log at the end of the round robin stage, winning 10 of their 14 matches and although they suffered a hiccup in the first qualifier, they bounced back to claim a third IPL title.
Rohit Sharma continues as skipper and the all rounders Pollard and Pandya take the eye. With Bumrah, Rahman and Cummins they have a strong seam bowling attack and if selected JP Duminy will provide the South African interest.
Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan
Chennai Super Kings
Although the Super Kings were banned for the 2016 and 2017 tournaments they have regrouped with some familiar names, not least skipper MS Dhoni. Raina, Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo have also rejoined and the South African contingent comprises of Faf du Plessis Lungisani Ngidi and Imran Tahir. The experience of Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh can can also be called upon.
CSK were IPL champions in 2010 and 2011and they made the play offs in every season between 2008 and 2015.
Squad: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungisani Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan
Head to Head
IPL Matches 24, Mumbai wins 13, CSK wins 11
Betting - Click here for all markets
Mumbai Indians 13/20
Chennai Super Kings 12/10
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change
Mumbai probably deserve the favourites tag but given this is the first game of the tournament and the opposition also looks strong, the match result is passed over in favour of a top bat bet. Suresh Raina had some great times with CSK and he may well benefit from a return to the fold in a tournament where his record is very solid.
Bet: Top Away Batsman, Suresh Raina at 7/2 Bet Here