Ravi Shastri is out boundary-side, giving an ode to IPL’s journey to 1000 after which a few momentos will be given. Jay Shah, BCCI’s honorary secretary, Ashish Shelar, are out. Sanju Samson and Rohit Sharma, captains of the participating teams, get a memento.
Over in Chennai, Sikandar Raza, with a rare three off the last ball, has taken PBKS over the line against CSK.
Mustafa Moudi: “Fun Fact: The last time both Trent Boult and Jofra Archer played against each other, they played for the opposite sides !!”
There’s a montage of some of the best moments across the years – from McCullum’s 158 to Gaylestorms to Rinku’s five sixes – with heroes from Sachin to MS Dhoni talking.
7:12pm: A big circular banner saying IPL 1000 is out on the field. In the meantime, CSK vs PBKS is coming down to the wire. Deiva Muthu says It’s “over to SRK. He was a ball boy in the first-ever IPL game at Chepauk in 2008. He grew up dreaming of finishing IPL games for CSK at Chepauk. Now is his chance to finish off CSK at Chepauk”
Afeef: “Very fitting, or maybe ironic, that Lasith Malinga will be on the opposite side for MI’s match on Rohit’s birthday. For so many years, Rohit would bank on Malinga to bowl the tough overs when he used to play in the IPL.”
Roshan: “Imteresting decision to drop Tendulkar. He was good with the new ball in general. The bloke only had one bad over.”
MI Impact Subs: Nehal Wadhera, Ramandeep Singh, Vishnu Vinod, Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar
RR Impact Subs: Donovan Ferreira, M Ashwin, Riyan Parag, Kuldip Yadav, Kuldeep Sen
Click here for the Playing XIs of both sides.
Rohit says he hopes to get the right result on his birthday against Samson’s team, like they did last year. Thinks it’s a good track despite being a bit dry; that he would’ve bowled first. (On team form) It’s been an up-and-down season but hopes to find consistency with ball and bat, after a good break. Two changes: Jofra and Arshad Khan are back for Jason Behrendorff and Arjun Tendulkar
Samson says it looks like a good wicket, look stick to their strengths: put up a good score and defend it. Says the team’s played at a good standard and have been joyful in the dugout. Says it’s gotten busy with the tightly-packed schedule, but the franchise, support staff are doing a great job to keep the mood happy. Boult is back for Zampa
7pm: Rohit Sharma, the birthday boy, and Sanju Samson are out in the middle for the toss. Royals have won the toss and bat first
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Pitch and conditions: It’s Rohit’s 150th match as MI captain. On the big occasion, the straight boundaries on one side are short (53 to 58 metres) and longer on the other (70 and 72 metres). The square boundaries (60 to 70 metres). Kevin Pietersen says the wicket looks like a beauty, one that’ll suit the batters. He adds setting the score is the best course of action.
6:50pm: On a broader note, our experts have mentioned what they’d like to see in the second half of this edition. You can mention your picks too as we await the toss, which’ll be in ten minutes.
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Royals have found Yashasvi Jaiswal to dovetail Jos Buttler at the top. Tom Moody looks into their form here. Suds says Trent Boult set to return, too. Has his run-up marked which is an extra boost. The skies are clear and the crowd is building up at the Wankhede. The music is on as the players warm up.
Coming to the narratives, Mumbai have missed a few of their big guns this season and are finding their feet. They have Jofra Archer back in the mix and have brought in Chris Jordan. The hosts are coming off successive defeats but how can they draw inspiration from their opponents? Read Hemant Brar’s preview to find out.
6:40pm: Sudarshanan is our esteemed representative at the Wankhede today. He pinged his early sightings from the ground – Jofra Archer marking his run-up. Jason Behrendorff marked his a while ago. Arshad Khan and Kumar Kartikeya had a longish bowl on the strip next to the centre and Ramandeep Singh also marked his run-up.
Try out ESPNcricinfo’s first AR-based game – just aim and hit the stumps.
Mustafa Moudi: “Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to Rohit Sharma. He became the Indian Captain almost at the age at which MSD stepped down as captain of the Indian team. A great example of Success might be late but it eventually comes to the one who deserves it. Of course, his batting prowess are already known to all !!”
6:30pm: Mumbai Indians, the five-time champions, are all set to host the champions of the inaugural edition, Rajasthan Royals, for the 1000th game of the IPL. It’s a milestone that’s mathematically 999 + 1 but it’s one that’s accumulated over 15 years, encompassing many of our journeys watching and following the game we love. Yes, it is occurring in the middle of a season between the second-and-ninth placed teams as of now, but there are many narratives coming together that could make this a match that celebrates all those high-octane entertainers while providing the familiar, trusted comfort that’s part of our routine. Join us as we build up to the action, and for an opening enriched by pop-culture references, check out the Al Muthu’s live blog.