MS Dhoni (L) and Rohit Sharma will lead Chennai and Mumbai respectively © BCCI
MS Dhoni (L) and Rohit Sharma will lead Chennai and Mumbai respectively © BCCI

Making a return to the fray after serving a two-year suspension, two-time winners Chennai will raise the curtains on the 2018 edition of the Indian T20 League (IPL) when they lock horns with defending champions Mumbai in the opening match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.

Chennai and Mumbai, who are set to open the decade-old T20 League in grand style after a formal opening ceremony, are among the most successful teams in the IPL. While Chennai will be led by former Indian skipper MS Dhoni who is back at the helm after the franchise’s two-year ban in 2016 and 2017 Indian T20 League seasons along with Rajasthan, Mumbai will be captained by opener Rohit Sharma.

The two sides share a fair bit of history, having made it to the three IPL finals so far. Chennai picked their first title at the T20 lucrative tournament by thrashing Mumbai in 2010 before the latter side went on to win the subsequent two finals that the two teams played.

Last year, Mumbai surpassed Chennai as the most successful team in the tournament history by clinching the title. Fans can expect a glitzy and glamorous affair at the opening event of the IPL ahead of the first match between the two sides The opening night will see an amalgamation of stars under one roof celebrating the love for the game and setting the stage for the highly anticipated cricketing action to follow in the next two months.

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 Prabhu Deva. To add to it, 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.

Also, two of Bollywood’s leading beauties Jacqueline Fernandez and Tamannaah Bhatia will enthrall everyone with their dance performances. There will be fancy props, drum rolls, more than a hundred supporting artists and a grandeur that is bound to leave everyone spellbound.

Meanwhile, the Decision Review System has also been introduced in the 2018 edition. For the first time in the history of the IPL, a five-day transfer window has also been allowed in the middle of the lucrative T20I league, where uncapped players who have appeared in two or lesser matches can be roped in by other teams to boost their reserves.

The two teams are as follows

Mumbai: 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: 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, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.