Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Mumbai Indians would be able to defeat the rest of the Indian team if they happen to face them in a T20 series. He made this observation in a video shared on his Facebook page.
The renowned commentator started by talking about the strengths of the Mumbai Indians lineup, with the power-hitters in their middle-order giving them the edge.
"The Mumbai Indians have so much depth that the opposition drowns in that. If you talk about batting, they have Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya after Kieron Pollard. They hit so much that stopping them becomes impossible."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Mumbai Indians have one of the most lethal pace batteries. He also highlighted that Jayant Yadav replacing Rahul Chahar as the specialist spinner and performing well in the crucial final encounter was ample proof of their depth in every department.
"If you talk about their bowling, they kept on playing Rahul Chahar for the entire tournament and when the chance came they played Jayant Yadav and he also did well. Anukul Roy comes as a fielder and takes 2-3 catches and they have a plethora of fast bowlers with them."
Aakash Chopra on the Mumbai Indians taking on the rest of the Indian team in a T20 series
Aakash Chopra opined that the Mumbai Indians will come up trumps against the Indian team in a T20 series if Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah represent the franchise instead of the national side.
"This team does not have any deficiency. There is no doubt that the Mumbai Indians is the best franchise team in the world, but if they play a three-match T20 series against the Indian team where the Mumbai Indians players will play for them, i.e. Rohit Sharma, Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, I feel they will defeat Team India as well."
He reasoned that some of the biggest strengths of Team India in both the batting and bowling departments are part of the Mumbai Indians lineup. The former KKR player added that the Mumbai Indians' middle order of Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard is better than that of the current Indian team.
"Team India's biggest strength is Bumrah's bowling, that is there with Mumbai, Rohit Sharma's opening, that is with Mumbai. If you talk about batting depth - Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard - their No.5, 6 and 7 is better than the Indian one."
The 43-year-old observed that the Mumbai Indians top four of Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will give stiff competition to the national team's top order of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.
"Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma's opening combination will give competition to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, whom you might feel is their weak link, should have been in the Indian team. I leave it to you to decide on who would do better if India plays say Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Mumbai Indians seam bowling is also better than the rest of the Indian team.
"If you see the bowling, keep Bumrah in front of Shami, Trent Boult in front of Deepak Chahar/Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pattinson/Nathan Coulter-Nile in front of Navdeep Saini, tell who will be better."
He acknowledged that the spin department will be one area where the Indian team will have the upper hand, with the wily Yuzvendra Chahal at their disposal.
"There is only one area where the Indian team might be actually better and that is the spin department where you might play Ravindra Jadeja/Kuldeep Yadav with Yuzvendra Chahal."
Chopra feels that the one area does not make a significant difference, and that the Mumbai Indians are good as a team.
"But that does not make a difference. Every single player of the Mumbai Indians will come up trumps against 100 players."
Aakash Chopra signed off by iterating that the Mumbai Indians are the best team in the entire world and will emerge on the winning side if they face off against the Indian national team.
"So, it was a near perfect season for the Mumbai Indians. They are the best team on the planet and will humble India as well if they play against them, that's what I feel."
The Mumbai Indians were certainly the standout team of IPL 2020. Their absolute demolition of the Delhi Capitals, who were the second-best team in the competition, in all their four encounters was testimony to their utter dominance.
The unlikely clash between the Mumbai Indians and the rest of the Indian national team would generate a lot of interest and is likely to be a close affair.
Published 13 Nov 2020, 13:56 IST