This is what fans of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 have been waiting for – MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli – it just does not get better for cricket lovers in India. Arguably the two biggest cricketing stars from the country ever go face-to-face with each other at the IPL stage as IPL 2021 table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore are facing off against 2nd placed Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Fans feel this is the beauty of the cash-rich T20 league. Ahead of the toss, with eyes on the legendary duo, Kohli had his arms around Dhoni’s shoulders as they smiled, spoke, and discussed things before the toss happened.
Pictures of the bromance between the two at the toss are going viral already:
— DHONI Army TN (@DhoniArmyTN) April 25, 2021
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) April 25, 2021
— frank (@franklinnnmj) April 25, 2021
CSK captain Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat with the skipper saying that all-rounder Moeen Ali, who has turned into a vital cog at the top of the order for the three-time champions this season, is unfit. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has also been dropped while all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and spinner Imran Tahir come in.
“Heat is a factor and chances the wicket will slow down, so that’s why we’re batting first. It’s not about keeping anyone happy, all of us have got some kind of batting, you’ll always complain if you have enough batting or not but you can’t really manage that. You can try and give exposure in situations, but you can’t guarantee that. Managing yourself is key, it’s a day game so it`ll be different from the games we’ve played with dew. Have to figure out lengths quickly. The spinners may come into it a lot more,” said Dhoni.
RCB captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, said that they have dropped Kane Richardson and Shahbaz Ahmed for Dan Christian and Navdeep Saini, respectively.
“Happy to be bowling, we’ve stacked up our bowling accordingly. Richardson misses out and Christian comes back in as finisher. Shahbaz misses out and Saini comes in. We have players to bowl cutters so we wanted someone like Saini to go hard up front. It’s easy to look at the table and focus on what others are doing rather than your thing; that’s something we’ve done good so far,” said Kohli.
Chennai Super Kings playing XI: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar
Royal Challengers Bangalore playing XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Washington Sundar, Dan Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj