Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Jasprit Bumrah seems to be low on confidence when it comes to using the lethal deliveries that are part of his bowling arsenal. He made this observation while previewing today's IPL clash between the Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about KKR, Aakash Chopra picked Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins as the four overseas players that the franchise should field in their playing XI. He also reckoned that KKR would have to go for two out of Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier to assist Cummins in the pace department.
"Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins will be my four overseas players for them. You will have to play Indian fast bowlers as you don't have any other option. Prasidh Krishna, Mavi, Nagarkoti and Warrier - all are available. Which two of these you will want to play, will be a question they will have to ask."
The former KKR player wanted the franchise to go in with Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill as the openers, with Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell to follow. He observed that the middle-order positions could be swapped based on the match situation.
"Sunil Narine to open is what I feel along with Shubman Gill and then Nitish Rana. Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan, they can also interchange their positions and then Andre Russell."
The 43-year-old pointed out that KKR do not have an ideal No. 7 in their squad as none of the batsmen likely to bat at that position are known to be big-hitters.
"At No.7, whomever you play is going to fall short. You will make a mistake if you send Russell below No.6 or don't open with Narine. So you don't have too many options. So whoever plays at No.7 will not have much to do."
Coming to the Mumbai Indians, Aakash Chopra mentioned that the franchise does not require a change in their playing XI although they could benefit by sending Kieron Pollard higher up in the batting order.
"When I see from the Mumbai Indians angle, there is not much scope of change and they don't need it as well, to be fair. They should change the batting order, in my opinion they should send Pollard up the order and use him more."
He added that the Trinidadian should be sent into bat around the 12-over mark to utilise the explosive form he is carrying from the CPL to the fullest.
"Pollard should be sent into bat as soon as around 12 overs have been bowled. You need to better utilise your main striker, who is coming with the CPL form."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the KKR-MI clash
"Andre Russell vs Jasprit Bumrah is the player battle to watch out for, can there be a player battle better than this. Bumrah is not in great form right now but for good players form is temporary and class in permanent."
The renowned commentator reckoned that Bumrah should target KKR's premier all-rounder with bouncers and yorkers.
"Bumrah's gameplan against Andre Russell could be to bowl a bouncer followed by a yorker and repeatedly do that."
He observed that the Mumbai Indians' bowling spearhead seemed to be a little hesitant while bowling his potent wicket-taking deliveries, although he did not lack pace.
"Bumrah needs to back himself because till now we have seen that he is not bowling many bouncers or yorkers. Speed has not reduced but the main weapons he has, he seems to be lacking the confidence to use them currently."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking KKR as the probable winners in the clash between two of the IPL heavyweights, who have six titles between them.
"I feel KKR might come out on top against the Mumbai Indians. So, the defending champions might lose their first two games."
Jasprit Bumrah did not seem to be at his potent best in Mumbai Indians' tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings, as he ended the match as the most expensive bowler across the two teams. He would be hoping to get back to his menacing best in today's encounter against KKR.
Published 23 Sep 2020, 11:53 IST