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Indian Premier League 2021 | Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 2 wickets

MI 159/9 (20)

RCB 160/8 (20)

Player of the match :- Harshal Patel

Virat Kohli | Winning captain: We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played. A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back. The pitch was looking decent in the first half, but to be honest, with the old ball the length ball was difficult to get away. That is why those partnerships between Maxi and me and then between AB and Maxi was really important. It's not a pitch where you can just hit through the line. You have to be smart with picking the gaps and running hard. Playing in Chennai you have to be respectful of that. The shot that Pollard got out to, in Wankhde it would've sailed into the crowds. We came back well and used the conditions well. They came back well too after losing Rohit early and those last six overs for us were probably the best six we've ever had. We brought Harshal in a trade from Delhi. He is relishing the responsibility and is clear with his plans. He was the difference today. He is going to be our death bowler. As a captain you want players with clarity, and he has that. Jamieson started off well, Yuzi was good, Siraj was good too. In T20 cricket, clarity at the top of your mark is all you as for as a captain. Harshal was very clear with that and it was his day today. We wanted Maxi to bat at four. Rajat is a very solid players. He is an exciting player, plays spin well too. The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging right away. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would've finished a couple of overs earlier. The opposition then gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize. AB is probably the only one in the team who is so versatile. And he does it on slow wickets what not many can do. In a tricky chase you need experience at the back, and the opposition knows that if he doesn't get out, the bowlers get in a different headspace.

Rohit Sharma | Losing captain: That's the most important thing I guess (to win tournaments). Not the first game. I thought it was a great effort.. great fight till the end. I thought we were 20 runs short with the kind of start we got. We made some mistakes in the first game, bound to happen. He's (Jansen) a talent we have identified to bowl in any situation. We wanted to get wickets when AB and Christian were batting, which is why we went with Bumrah and Boult, unfortunately it didn't work. Definitely not an easy pitch to bat on. We need to identify the situations and get variations. AB was brilliant and got them home. In hindsight you can say it takes time to get intensity. But there are fresh faces. Lot of players were playing international cricket and we have not had time to get to know each other very well. It can be difficult for teams who have great home record but that's the challenge of the sport (about playing in neutral venues). But we are fortunate enough to be able to be on the park and put some smiles on the faces of people in India. The country is going through tough times. Give them something to look forward to.

Harshal Patel | MoM: Absolutely happy to be back. When they traded me they told me my role was going to be bowling in the death and that is something that I have worked on for a couple of years. Happy to be here and with the faith they have shown in me. I was just focused on my execution and the most important thing was to make use of my momentum. It is my first fifer in 98 T20s and the fact that it has come against MI makes it all the more special. I have worked a lot on my yorker. I was always good at the length balls ans slower balls. I wanted to be a bowler who takes on responsibility and that's what I have been working on for the last few years

Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Piyush Chawla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Adam Milne, Chris Lynn, Jayant Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, Arjun Tendulkar, Marco Jansen, Yudhvir Singh

Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Adam Zampa, Sachin Baby, Srikar Bharat, Pavan Deshpande, Rajat Patidar, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudessai, Shahbaz Ahmed

Venue Guide 

  • Stadium: MA Chidambaram Stadium 
  • City: Chennai 
  • Capacity: 50000 
  • Ends: Anna Pavilion End, V Pattabhiraman Gate End 
  • Hosts to: Tamil Nadu, Chennai Super Kings

The journey of Mumbai Indians though has come to a point where there are more ghosts to fear in the Indian Premier League opener than in the final. Several of their players have laughed off the thought of what ails them in the first stop and suggest that the winless run since 2012 is beyond their understanding. What Mumbai Indians would be out to fix in the tournament opener, is what Royal Challengers Bangalore would be doing with respect to their fortunes in the competition: try to figure out what is going wrong!

While the defending champions have retained their core unit, RCB spent big bucks at the 2021 auction to acquire the services of Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson to strengthen them further. Yet, much like most of the seasons, where they seemed to have assembled a strong squad, the winning formula is yet to be discovered.

Mumbai Indians’ second-best win percentage is against RCB (among all teams against whom they have played more than six matches), and yet despite their dominance, Virat Kohli’s side managed to run them close twice last year and even become one of only three teams to beat MI’s full-strength XI.

Mumbai Indians’ second-best win percentage is against RCB (among all teams against whom they have played more than six matches), and yet despite their dominance, Virat Kohli’s side managed to run close twice last year and even become one of only three teams to beat MI’s full-strength XI.

A good reason for their dominance has come at the back of being able to control Kohli in recent years. The RCB skipper hasn’t managed to break free easily against the five-time champions and the challenge will get stiffer in Chennai, where his scoring rate has only been 111.49. AB de Villiers though enjoys his time in Chepauk, where he has scored 228 runs at a strike rate of 152. What’s to be expected out of their recruit Maxwell remains unknown, not just for his unpredictability but also because he is yet to play at the venue.

Despite MI’s recent dominance in Chennai, their top-order hasn’t enjoyed a good run either. They can, however, rely more on their least appreciated front - the spin department. Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar have conceded runs at marginally over 4 every six balls. But much like RCB’s quest to find answers, MI too have reasons to wonder: in the vast pool of talent and ideas, is there enough to break the first-match jinx, published by - The Beyond News (Sports)