Pollard Malinga Harbhajan Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians will look to begin the defence of their IPL title with a win over former champions Kolkata Knight Riders. Saikat Das/IPL/SPORTZPICS

The Mumbai Indians begin their quest of defending their IPL title with an opponent they have quite enjoyed playing against over the past six years - the Kolkata Knight Riders.

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The game is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm GMT, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Max, Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India. Catch the action via live streaming online in India HERE or HERE. Viewers in the US can live stream the action HERE, while Canada viewers can do the same HERE. Rest of the world can catch the IPL action HERE, HERE or through the GoCricket apps.

Viewers in the UK can catch the action live on ITV, while Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will have TV coverage via Geo Super, Maasaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action on OSN and with the link HERE, while New Zealand viewers can do the same through Sky NZ or HERE.

The inaugural game of IPL 7, to be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, promises to set the pulses racing as Mumbai Indians look to get their campaign off to a rollicking start.

Several new faces, and also plenty of familiar ones will be on show for MI, with Michael Hussey and Corey Anderson, in particular, set to grab much of the eyeballs.

"There's an air of expectancy," Mumbai Indians coach John Wright said. "All the teams have a different make-up this time, and from our point of view, we have a core of players from last year as well as some new additions, which is interesting. We are all looking forward to getting started."

Hussey has been at his best for his previous franchise CSK at the top of the order, providing a brilliant base for the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja to take advantage of. However, Wright would not commit to the position in which the Australian stalwart would play in the Mumbai Indians setup.

"We're pretty sure of what role we want to put Mike into and what he will bring to the table," he added. "But having said that, Mike is a very experienced and adaptable guy. So, if we want him to bat in the middle order, he will perform that role just as well."

Hussey will also provide the much-needed experience to the Mumbai Indians team following the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, who nevertheless is with the squad as an "Icon."

"Sachin has been a big part of the team, longer than some of us, including myself," Wright said. "This team holds an important part in his heart; he is Mumbai Indians through and through. It's great to have him around, particularly for our young guys who look up to him."

KKR only retained two players, unlike the Mumbai Indians, who decided to keep the full quota, but the Kolkata franchise did bring back some of the familiar faces from the auction with the likes of Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Manvinder Bisla and Shakib Al Hasan all returning along with skipper Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine. New signings Morne Morkel, R Vinay Kumar and Pat Cummins also add to the formidable bowling lineup.

"We're very happy with the squad that we have got," KKR coach Trevor Bayliss said. "We have a number of different quality options depending on the opposition and the type of wicket we play on. All we need to think of is getting the combination right, and hopefully, the 11 guys we pick, play well on the day."

KKR have won just two of their 12 matches against the Mumbai Indians, with the latter completing a double last season - a win over the defending champs in the opening match of the season, might just be the tone-setter needed to have another crack at an IPL title, after last season's rather disappointing campaign.

Mumbai Indians, though, will also be thinking along the same lines, and if any of their explosive batsmen get cracking, then we could be in for a run-feast.