The second phase of the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) started with a blockbuster contest between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

However, fans were a bit surprised when Kieron Pollard walked in for a toss instead of MI’s regular captain Rohit Sharma. CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. Both the captains revealed some changes in their respective sides.

While Dhoni mentioned the absence of all-rounder Sam Curran, Pollard asserted that Rohit would not be playing the game along with Hardik Pandya.

Pollard said that Rohit is completely fine, but he has been given rest for this match. Further, the Trinidadian also stated that Hardik would be unavailable for this game. Polly revealed that Anmolpreet Singh is making his IPL debut.

Hardik wasn’t 100% match-fit, therefore, wasn’t included in the final XI.

“We weren’t so sure, so happy that I lost the toss. Rohit is okay, he’ll be fine sooner rather than later, I’m just the captain for today. We started a couple of months back, and we were just starting to build the momentum with a couple of wins. Rohit misses out; Hardik is not playing as well. Anmolpreet makes his debut, that’s about it, all others are regular players,” said Pollard during the toss.

Dhoni confirmed that Faf du Plessis would be playing the game. Notably, due to a groin injury, Du Plessis had not played the last three games of the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021. Further, the Ranchi-born superstar also mentioned the availability of Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo and Josh Hazlewood.

“We will bat first, looks like a good wicket. Setting a target will be a better option. It’s the same for everyone. I can’t say if it’s a good break or not. Once the tournament starts, you get into some sort of rhythm, but this season it’s new, and maybe us cricketers will start loving it,” said Dhoni after winning the toss.

“Seven games, then a break, and seven more. It comes down to how you play on that day in the shortest form. We’ll try to do the basics right and focus on the process. Sam is not available. Faf, Moeen, Bravo and Josh are playing this game,” added MSD.

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