Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Capitals (DC) should go without Chris Gayle and Ajinkya Rahane respectively in today's IPL clash between the two teams. He made this observation while previewing of the second encounter of IPL 2020 in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about Kings XI Punjab, Aakash Chopra suggested that the Punjab-based franchise should leave out Chris Gayle from their playing XI. He picked Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Jordan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the four overseas players.
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"Kings XI Punjab is a good team. Maxwell has form, in my opinion they should play Pooran and open with Mayank Agarwal. They should not play Chris Gayle, that is what I feel. You should play Jordan and Mujeeb, these should be your four overseas players."
The 43-year-old also picked Ravi Bishnoi as the probable game-changer for Kings XI Punjab, with the 2020 under-19 World Cup star likely to prove a handful with his flattish trajectory and sharp-turning googly.
"My game-changer would be Ravi Bishnoi. I feel he should definitely be played, he bowls flat and at a good length and he could be absolutely right is what I feel."
Coming to the Delhi Capitals lineup, Aakash Chopra reckoned that the Delhi-based franchise should not include Ajinkya Rahane in their playing XI considering the balance of their side.
"Delhi Capitals should not play Ajinkya Rahane. I love Rahane, he is my favourite player but he doesn't fit into this team. Because if you play him, he will be batting at No.3 and if you do that then you will have Iyer at No.4, Pant at No.5 and only one out of Hetmeyer, Stoinis or Carey at No.6, it will not work out."
He added that he wants Delhi Capitals to open with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan, followed by Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. These four would be followed by two of Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey in their clash against Kings XI Punjab.
"So if you make Rahane sit out, you open with Shaw and Dhawan and then Iyer, Pant and then two out of Hetmyer, Stoinis and Carey."
On the bowling front, Aakash Chopra wants the Delhi Capitals to mesmerize the Kings XI Punjab batsmen with a spin-heavy attack. He added that the Shreyas Iyer-led side should play Sandeep Lamichhane ahead of Amit Mishra as the leg-spinner.
"Their bowling is good, so I feel they should go with this team and go with a lot of spin even though there may not be too much of help for spinners as of now. Play Sandeep Lamichhane ahead of Amit Mishra may be."
Aakash Chopra on the battle to watch out for in the Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals clash
"The player battle to watch out for would be Mujeeb Ur Rahman vs Rishabh Pant. I feel Mujeeb has got that CPL form while Pant will try to take the attack to him."
He signed off by stating that he could have opted for Prithvi Shaw or Shreyas Iyer instead of Rishabh Pant in this battle, but feels that the flamboyant left-hander's contest against Kings XI Punjab's premier spinner would be more attractive for the spectators.
"It could actually be Mujeeb Ur Rahman vs Prithvi Shaw or Shreyas Iyer as well but the one with Pant looks like a heavyweight encounter."
Kings XI Punjab's Mujeeb Ur Rahman had finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded CPL, with his 16 wickets coming at an outstanding average of 13.56 along with an exceptional economy rate of 5.29.
Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, is the highest run-scorer in the last three editions of the IPL, with 1538 runs to his name in this period. A battle between these star players, if it happens, will certainly generate a lot of eyeballs.
Published 20 Sep 2020, 10:43 IST