IPL has started and nothing has changed. The enthusiasm and energy of the ever so full Wankhede stadium rose to another level as Mumbai Indians won the toss and decided to bat first. And why not, they are the defending champions. The fans always love watching the home side bat but this ground is known for chasing, as the home team found out soon. Mumbai Indians could manage only 122 runs in their 20 overs thanks largely to Harbhajan`s quickfire 45 not out off just 30 deliveries. On this pitch, the score was way below par and the debutante Rising Pune Supergiants overhauled the target just under 15 overs with 9 wickets in hand. Rahane played a major role with a free-flowing unbeaten half century.
In the last 4 T20 matches played at the venue, close to 1600 runs have been scored with 3 of those matches won by teams batting second. Scores of 182, 229 and 192 have been chased down recently on this ground. But the modern day cricketers do not pay heed to history and fairly so. Rohit Sharma had no hesitation batting first, but the approach of the Mumbai Batsmen did them in. Too many shots too early was the undoing of the Mumbai top order.
RSP bowler Ishant Sharma struck with his first ball, bowling the second over of the innings, and trapped Rohit right in front of the stumps with a straight full ball. And the parade started. In a surprising move, Hardik Pandya came to the crease after the fall of the first wicket to join Lendl Simmons. Simmons was bowled by Ishant cheaply. And after a couple of streaky boundaries Pandya perished trying to pull a short ball from Mitchell marsh into the hands of MS Dhoni. RSP was all over Mumbai in their first game. Mumbai appeared absolutely clueless as how to approach the game.
Though, it is a pretty similar and quite used to situation for Mumbai. They are known to be poor starters. In fact, last year, Mumbai lost their first 5 matches and then picked up their game to win 8 out of the next 9 games to qualify for the playoffs and eventually winning the trophy. Mumbai would be hoping to repeat the same. On the other hand, RSP would be really happy to start this way and would help in settling the nerves of the new team. For MS Dhoni, all the boxes would have been ticked alright today. The bowlers sticking to their job on a good batting pitch, except maybe RP Singh who looked nothing like his usual self. And then the openers Rahane and Du Plessis getting a good partnership upfront and then Kevin Pieterson came out and played like he never stopped playing. RSP look a very strong team and a serious contender to the title, as MS Dhoni`s any team does anyways.