Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that there is still a question mark over Rohit Sharma's availability for the Mumbai Indians (MI) clash against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) tonight.
He made this observation while previewing the IPL 2020 encounter between the two teams in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that there is not much clarity about Rohit Sharma's fitness and whether he would be able to take the field against RCB.
"There is still a question mark over Rohit Sharma's fitness. Is he fit or not? Is he available or not? It is a strange irony that we are facing at this point in time."
The renowned commentator observed that even though the Mumbai Indians captain had been seen practicing, there has been no confirmation on his availability for today's match against RCB or the tournament going ahead.
"He is practicing but is he match fit, if not will he be fit this season. I mean there are too many if and buts at this point in time."
He, although, added that the Mumbai Indians have not been affected by his absence too much, despite not being able to defend a huge score in their last match against the Rajasthan Royals.
"Their team is still looking good although they lost the previous match and that too one-sided. They scored more than 190 runs and lost despite that."
Talking from the RCB perspective, Aakash Chopra stated that the franchise might look to bring back Isuru Udana in their playing XI while hoping that Aaron Finch will find his form at the top of the order.
"RCB could bring back Isuru Udana, go back to the things that have worked, in place of Moeen Ali. I can't really think of too many other changes. You will expect from Finch that he will come to the party."
The former KKR player opined that the pressure could be mounting on Virat Kohli's team after their loss against the Chennai Super Kings in their last encounter, with tough opposition awaiting them in their remaining three matches.
"With RCB having lost their last game, the pressure is more in this match because their remaining matches are against Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad, who have started winning with Delhi being desprate for a victory."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that a win in tonight's encounter will be crucial for RCB as things could go awry otherwise.
"So qualification is not going to be that easy. So if RCB do not win today, things could start going pear-shaped."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the RCB vs MI clash
"If you have the captain Kohli on one side and you have Jasprit Bumrah on the other. When they play together, Bumrah will go through a wall for his captain, he is Kohli's go-to man."
He pointed out that Bumrah will not hand out any favours to the RCB captain when it comes to the IPL.
"But now when Kohli will have the bat in his hand, Bumrah will come from the other end and bowl him a bouncer. So, you are united by Team India but divided by the IPL and that is the battle I am looking forward to watch."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking the Mumbai Indians as the likely victors in their clash against RCB tonight.
"I am going with Mumbai. I think the Mumbai Indians will become the first team to qualify in this edition of the Indian T20 league."
The winner of today's encounter between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore will establish a two-point lead at the top of the IPL 2020 points table. The positive result would also almost guarantee the victors a spot in the IPL 2020 playoffs.
Published 28 Oct 2020, 11:47 IST