MUMBAI: The 11th edition of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) will begin on Saturday with a clash between defending champions Mumbai and Chennai the Wankhede Stadium. Chennai will be taking part in the tournament after a gap of two years as they were banned following corruption allegations.
The two top favourites have played 22 matches against each other in the past in which Mumbai won 12 while Chennai won 10 games. At the Wankhede Stadium also, the two teams have played 7 matches at the ground out of which Mumbai has won 5 while Chennai has won 2.
Chennai skipper MS Dhoni is the most-experienced captain in T20 cricket having led in a total of 239 T20 matches so far. Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma has also had a steady role to play in the success of the team. Sharma has led Mumbai to snatch 3 IPL titles so far. Interestingly, both the captains have played exactly the same number of matches in the IPL.
In the previous 10 seasons, Mumbai have never had a good start, having lost opening matches in five seasons. Rohit and team will be desperate to alter this record on Saturday when they come to the field to play the opening fixture of the 2018 season. Chennai, on the other hand, would want to mark their return to the IPL with an emphatic victory.
Ahead of the start of this season, the Chennai team on Friday released a Whistle Podu anthem video. The post became a hit on Twitter with users welcoming the team back. In the video, Skipper MS Dhoni can be seen shaking a leg along with his teammates. "The summer we've all been waiting for is here. Thala has returned and the yellow army is back. What are you waiting for? #WhistlePodu. #Yellove #SummerIsHere," the Chennai team wrote on Twitter.
The opening ceremony, which is scheduled to start at 06:15 pm on April 7, will see an amalgamation of stars under one roof. Rocking the dance floor during the event will be Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan who is set to get the fans in the stands grooving to his dance moves along with Varun Dhawan and Prabhudheva. Bollywood’s leading beauties Jacqueline Fernandez and Tamannaah Bhatia will enthral everyone with their dance performances.
The stage will also play host to a musical extravaganza from none other than Mika Singh who will be singing his latest chartbusters that are bound to get the audience going. There will be fancy props, drum rolls, more than a hundred supporting artists and a grandeur that is bound to blow everyone's mind.