Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has stated that Rohit Sharma always looks forward to playing against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), considering the success he has enjoyed against them over the years.
He made this observation while previewing the IPL 2020 clash between the Mumbai Indians and the Dinesh Karthik-led team in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra highlighted the fact that Mumbai Indians had made just the one change in the seven matches that they have played to date, emerging on the winning side in five of those encounters. He said:
"Mumbai Indians have made just the one change in the seven matches they have played, out of which they have won five and have defeated Delhi Capitals in the last match."
The renowned commentator pointed out that Rohit Sharma would be very happy to play against KKR, considering his excellent record against them, which includes the last match where he had taken the attack to Pat Cummins.
"Everything is working fine. Rohit Sharma was dismissed early in a couple of matches, so if he wants to regain his form, he calls KKR to play against MI. So now they are playing, last time also he had hit a lot, especially the sixes against Pat Cummins."
He added that the Mumbai Indians do not need to make any changes in their team composition with all the players performing well.
"So you will expect from him and all the other players are in good form. So there is no scope of any team changes."
While talking from the KKR perspective, Aakash Chopra wanted them to leave out Tom Banton and go with Rahul Tripathi at the top of the order.
"I would say KKR should not play Tom Banton and open with Rahul Tripathi because he had done well. You made him bat down the order, he scored runs and then when you made him open, he was the Man of the Match. He got out once and you dropped him down the order, that's not right."
The former KKR player also wanted the franchise to go in with Sunil Narine in their playing XI, considering the importance of the match for them.
"You should play Narine as he has been given a warning only and not been banned. You will have to play him sometime or the other, so why not now. Because if you don't win now, it becomes very difficult. To defeat Mumbai, you have to field your best XI and they all have to play well."
He suggested that KKR should opt for Lockie Fergusson in case they don't want to risk Sunil Narine and added that they should also go in with six bowlers.
"If you still do not want to play Sunil Narine, you should play Lockie Fergusson and try to play Kuldeep Yadav as well and go in with six bowling options against Mumbai Indians as they have a very long batting lineup."
'Once Rohit Sharma comes in a good rhythm, he will smash everyone' - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra picked Rohit Sharma as the likely game-changer in tonight's encounter, considering his fondness for the KKR attack and the conditions in Abu Dhabi.
"I am going with Rohit Sharma as the game-changer for this match because he likes this side and also likes the pitch in Abu Dhabi."
The 43-year-old added that the Mumbai Indians captain is due to play a big knock with the lengths generally bowled by the KKR bowlers also being to his liking.
"He has had a couple of bad innings, so he is anyway due for runs. And I feel he will score runs, he plays very well the length on which Pat Cummins or Shivam Mavi bowl. And once he comes in a good rhythm, he will smash everyone."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking the Mumbai Indians as the likely victors in their clash against KKR tonight.
"I am going with Mumbai to win this game as they are the better team."
A win for Mumbai Indians in today's encounter will help them regain their spot at the top of the IPL 2020 points table. A positive result for KKR, on the other hand, will help them join MI and RCB as the teams with 10 points in their respective kitties, just behind the Delhi Capitals.
Published 16 Oct 2020, 13:03 IST