The much-awaited Indian Premier League kick-off is scheduled in Abu Dhabi on Saturday between last year’s finalists Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The defending champions MI do not have a great track record of playing outside the country. However, skipper Rohit Sharma remains positive and believes that their team could break the jinx this time.
In 2014, when the matches had taken place in the United Arab Emirates, Mumbai Indians lost all the five matches. Hence, the fans are apprehensive about their performance in the upcoming tournament.
But, Sharma says: “We have only 2-3 players from that squad. I am not too fussed about it. Yes, we didn’t have a great experience (in 2014). But the team is completely different now, the thought process and everything are different,” he said.
In 2014, the Mumbai Indians won seven out of nine matches played in India. However, they lost their charm when the venue was shifted to UAE, losing all their matches against Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The first match of the tournament will be played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on Saturday. Sharma has hinted that he will be the opener from his team in the upcoming tournament. Talking to Hindustan Times in a virtual press conference Sharma said,
“I think I opened the entire tournament last year and will continue to do that even in this year.”
It can be said that the four-time champions have the pressure to continue their winning streak abroad since that is something unprecedented. Mumbai Indians boast of versatile players including Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, and Rohit Sharma.
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings also has a strong lineup of players, including MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Watson, and Dwayne Bravo.