Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah is likely to cause a lot of trouble for the Chennai Super Kings batsmen in the opening clash of IPL 2020 today. He made this observation while talking about the protagonists of the match in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra picked Jasprit Bumrah as the 'Match Protector' in the encounter between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. He defined this term as a player who may not be the Man of the Match but could alter the course of the clash.
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"I am going with Jasprit Bumrah as the Match Protector. I feel the pitch on the first day will not be that spinner-friendly. He might get some help from the pitch and fours and sixes will not be hit that easily."
He reasoned that Jasprit Bumrah's awkward action and express pace is likely to test the Chennai Super Kings batsmen, some of whom have not played competitive cricket for a long while.
"And his unorthodox action will test Chennai Super Kings' resolve and their current batting status because they are not coming after playing competitive cricket. And when you have not been playing regularly, you take a little time. In such a case, the extra pace of Bumrah might actually hold them back."
The former KKR player mentioned that Bumrah could prove to be the death knell of the Chennai Super Kings top-order batsmen like Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu due to his subtle variations of the length.
"Bumrah will start in the powerplay overs and might target the stumps of the likes of Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu or can trouble them with bouncers because he is that kind of a bowler."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Rohit Sharma is also likely to test MS Dhoni with Jasprit Bumrah's pace when the Chennai Super Kings skipper comes into bat.
"And I am pretty sure that Rohit will save an over or two of Bumrah for the latter half of the innings when Dhoni will come into bat apart from bowling at the death."
Aakash Chopra on his excitement to watch MS Dhoni play for the Chennai Super Kings
Aakash Chopra expressed his excitement about getting to watch MS Dhoni display his wares for the Chennai Super Kings, something that would no longer be seen in international cricket now.
"I am very excited for the return of MS Dhoni because we wouldn't have been able to see him play if it was an India match, as he is a retired international cricketer. So there is a romanticism that we want to see him one more time."
The reputed commentator observed that MS Dhoni could take a little time to get into the thick of things, considering that he has been out of action for a long while. However, he pointed out that the Chennai Super Kings skipper could be in scintillating form with the long hours he has put in at the nets.
"It is possible he might get off to a slow start because he has not played for 14 months but he is MS Dhoni, so it is possible he may not make a slow start. It is possible that he may just hit the ground running and will surprise everyone. Because that is MS Dhoni, he has been practising."
Aakash Chopra signed off by highlighting that the Chennai Super Kings are prone to come out fighting when they have their backs against the wall.
"As they say, some people succumb during adversity while others come to the fore. But this team, gets primed to break records."
Although MS Dhoni has not played competitive cricket for more than a year, he has been putting in the hard yards at the nets. He would like to quickly regain the form he showed for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019, where he had emerged as their highest run-scorer with 416 runs at an outstanding average of 83.20.
Published 19 Sep 2020, 10:45 IST