Chasing might have been the way to go in the ICC World T20 2016 matches at the Wankhede Stadium, but Rohit Sharma decided to go with what works best for his Mumbai Indians team by deciding to bat first after winning the toss in the IPL 2016 opener against the Rising Pune Supergiants.
It was a win-win situation for both sides, as MS Dhoni would have bowled had he called right, giving both teams absolutely no excuses to not put their best foot forward in this opening match of the Indian Premier League 2016 season.
"We know the conditions well," Rohit Sharma said at the toss. "Having player here for so many seasons, we know what to expect, and we hope to make full use of it."
Dhoni admitted he would have fielded had he won the toss, pointing to the fact that it is a difficult ground to defend a total – small dimensions and a batting beauty.
"We would have bowled first," Dhoni, who will captain the RPS franchise in their first ever IPL match, said, speaking to Ravi Shastri, who is back in his commentary duties after his stint as team director of India ended after the WT20.
"As we saw in the World T20 semifinal (where India failed to defend 192 against the West Indies), this is a difficult ground to defend a total. We haven't had much time to gel as a team, but, hopefully, whatever little time we got will be enough today."
Dhoni also said he has decided to go with a specialist team for the opening match of the IPL. "We have gone with six batters and five bowlers, so they all know what is expected of them," Dhoni added. "We have three overseas batters and one foreign seam bowler."
Playing XI: Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (C), Jos Buttler, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Vinay Kumar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.
Rising Pune Supergiants: Ajinkya Rahane, Faf Du Plessis, Steve Smith, Kevin Pietersen, MS Dhoni (C), Mitchell Marsh, Rajat Bhatia, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, M Ashwin, RP Singh.