The IPL 2015 first match will be played between the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, winners of 2013 trophy at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Dependng on the rain gods, the match should go ahead on Wednesday at 8 PM IST.
Where to Watch Live
The match will begin at 8:00 pm IST and will be telecast live on Sony Set Max and Sony Six channels in India.
USA: ESPN. ESPN Cricket will provide live-streaming coverage of every match via a subscription costing $79.99.
Online live streaming Information: Watch official IPL Online Live Streaming Channel on Youtube.
The Mumbai Indians, owned by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is known for its big bucks acquired Unmukt Chand from Rajasthan Royals and R. Vinay Kumar from Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively. Mumbai Indians have released Michael Hussey and Praveen Kumar, retaining may old players.
With Ricky Ponting at the helm, the Mumbai Indians already have one of the best cricketing brains in the world to guide their players. Their bowlers will now also have former New Zealand bowler, Shane Bond to tutor them in strategising the downfall of oppositions in the 2015, Pepsi Indian Premier League.
The likes of Lasith Malinga, Karnataka duo-Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun and Josh Hazlewood will benefit immensely from Bond’s experience. Vinay Kumar and Mithun have sent ripples through India’s domestic circuit in recent times and will welcome the opportunity to learn from him. Bond has 147 ODI wickets to his name from 82 matches and 51 T20 wickets under his belt from 40 games. Bond earlier played for KKR in the IPL.
Former IPL champions Mumbai Indians have been training in Mumbai for the last few days under the watchful eyes of the former Australia captain, fielding coach Jonty Rhodes along with former India wicketkeeper Kiran More, Robin Singh and others.
MI captain, Rohit Sharma, spin spearhead Harbhajan Singh, West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard, Vinay Kumar and Aditya Tare were amongst others who trained on Friday evening as they prepare to take on defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders on April 8 at the Eden Gardens.
The team’s top guns Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu will concentrate on their bowling skills while the batting team with Aditya Tare, Rohit and Pollard will show it on the ground. Spinner Bhajan and Prgyan Ojha should help the team this time.
Defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders will not have the services of Jimmy Neesham and Chris Lynn for this season. Neesham who was bought at this year’s auction and Chris Lynn retained from last year have both been ruled out based on the injury reports received from their respective boards.
IPL regulations permit replacement if a player is unavailable for the entire season. KKR have opted to replace the injured players with the experienced duo of Azhar Mahmood, former Pakistan Test Cricketer who is currently based in England playing for Surrey and Johan Botha, former SA Captain and currently playing for Adelaide Strikers at the Big Bash.
This year too, KKR will depend on Robin Uthappa, the former India opener and skipper Gautam Gambhir to get the team off to a good start. Sunil Narine, who helped the Kolkata Knight Riders win the title in 2014 may not be in his full form after the global ban for his suspicious spin though both ICC and BCCI have cleared him of any wrong doing. Yusuf Pathan was one who made some blistering knocks in the last series need to show his mettle to win more matches this time.
Prediction: KKR may win the opening match on home front but Mumbai Indians will try to give a befitting opposition despite several hiccups they face include some absentees and bad weather.
Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma (C), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu (W), Harbhajan Singh, Corey Anderson, Aditya Tare, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Aaron Finch, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Abhimanyu Mithun, Aiden Blizzard, Akshay Wakhare, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Hardik Pandya, Jagadeesha Suchitch, Unmukt Chand, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel (Full Team).
Kolkata Knight Riders – Gautam Gambhir (C), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (W), Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Pat Cummins, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Brad Hogg, Sumit Narwal, Sheldon Jackson, Aditya Garhwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Azhar Mahmood, and Johan Botha. (Full Team).
Past IPL Performance: In 2014, KKR won the trophy and Mumbai Indians were the winners of 2013 trophy. Here is the table showing their performance:
|Mumbai Indians||5th out of 8 teams||7th out of 8 teams||Finalists||3rd out of 10 teams||4th out of 9 teams||Winners|
|KKR||6th out of 8 teams||8th out of 8 teams||6th out of 8 teams||4th out of 10 teams||Winners||7th out of 9 teams|