Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked the Delhi Capitals (DC) as the probable winners in their IPL 2020 clash against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) today. He made this choice while previewing the 7th match of this season's IPL in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about the possible team changes for Chennai Super Kings, Aakash Chopra pointed out that there is very little scope for change in the batting lineup with Ambati Rayudu still indisposed.
"Ambati Rayudu is still not being available. That is a problem for Chennai Super Kings. So, they will have to play Ruturaj Gaikwad and open with Murali Vijay."
On the bowling front, he observed that Chennai Super Kings could opt for Josh Hazlewood instead of Lungi Ngidi, considering the mauling the latter received at the hands of Jofra Archer in the previous match.
"Talking about any other possibility of a change, I will be considering Josh Hazlewood in place of Lungi Ngidi. Ngidi had conceded 30 runs in his last over of IPL 2020. Jofra Archer had smashed him and I feel it is about time that CSK tries Josh Hazlewood because the pitch has little grass."
The reputed commentator mentioned that although Chennai Super Kings might want to include Imran Tahir in their playing XI, the team balance will not afford them that option.
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"I understand that CSK might want to play Tahir but they may not be able to do that. To play him, they will have to drop a batsman. Even then how will they play him, you can't drop Sam Curran and Watson and Faf are going to play, so if you play Hazlewood then Tahir can't play."
Aakash Chopra opined that Chennai Super Kings could consider playing Karn Sharma instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad or Murali Vijay if they want to go in with an additional bowling option.
"They can play Karn Sharma probably so that you go with another bowling option because one thing is that MS Dhoni is playing with only 5 bowlers, that is never a good thing. So if you want to play a 6th bowler, you can slot Karn Sharma somehow in place of Ruturaj or Murali Vijay."
He was quick to add that Chennai Super Kings could exercise that option only if MS Dhoni is confident about his own batting and is willing to bat up the order.
"That is if Dhoni is having faith in his own batting because then he will have to bat a little up the order and handle a bit of the pressure."
From the Delhi Capitals' perspective, Aakash Chopra stated that the franchise would have to take a call on Ravichandran Ashwin's availability for today's match.
"The good news for Delhi Capitals is that Ashwin is probably ready to play but the confirmation will come later."
He also said that he hopes the Delhi-based franchise plays Avesh Khan or Harshal Patel ahead of Mohit Sharma in case Ishant Sharma is still not fit to play.
"The rest they don't need to change anything. If Ishant Sharma is avialable, they should play him. If not also, they shouldn't play Mohit Sharma and play Avesh Khan or Harshal Patel instead of him because Mohit Sharma was ordinary in the first game."
Aakash Chopra on the key battles to watch out for in the Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals encounter
"The player battle to watch out for would be the in-form Faf du Plessis for CSK against Delhi Capitals' best bowler Kagiso Rabada. So, two South Africans fighting against each other will be a mouth-watering affair."
The former KKR player chose Deepak Chahar's tussle against the Delhi Capitals openers as the other interesting contest.
"The other battle for me would be Deepak Chahar against Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking the Delhi Capitals as the favourites in today's encounter against the Chennai Super Kings.
"I am going with Delhi Capitals as the likely winner. So, Chennai Super Kings would be losing two of their three games with Delhi Capitals winning two out of two, that is going to be very interesting if it happens."
The winning team in the clash between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings would jump to the top of the points table of IPL 2020 as the first franchise to have won two matches in this year's edition of the league.
Published 25 Sep 2020, 11:50 IST