Former India opener-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar named his probable 11 Mumbai Indians on Friday and there was a surprise right at the top. While MI head coach Mahela Jayawardena has confirmed that skipper Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock would be opening the batting for the defending champions, Gavaskar begged to differ.

Gavaskar stuck to Rohit as an opener but he chose Suryakumar Yadav as his partner at the top with De Kock playing No 3. The ace commentator picked young wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan at No 4, followed by the likes of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Krunal Pandya at 4, 5, and 6.

“The other thing that can be a weakness is middle order. They will have to think who will bat at No.4 and No.5 position. If Quinton de Kock plays, then he will open with either Rohit Sharma or Suryakumar Yadav,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.

“Ishan Kishan might come in at No.4, he can also open the innings. Kieron Pollard can come in at No.5. Maybe Hardik Pandya can be promoted to No.4. But if that doesn’t happen then who will play at No.4?” he added.

Then he went in for three fast bowlers and a specialist spinner. The fast bowlers in his 11 are Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile with Rahul Chahar being the only specialist spinner.

Gavaskar’s MI Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult/Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.

MI vs CSK Opener

Both sides are loaded with big names and proven match-winners but none bigger than the two respective captains and hence focus would be on them for various reasons. Both sides look balanced and on the day could beat the other. CSK would look to avenge the final defeat last year and look to get the campaign off to a good start.