Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked the contest between Hardik Pandya and Kagiso Rabada as the player battle to watch out for in the IPL 2020 final between the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals.
He made this observation while previewing tonight's clash between the two sides in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Mumbai Indians' fearless batting approach is their biggest strength, with all their batsmen in good touch as well.
"There are a couple of things in a knockout that make you different. One is how fearlessly you can play and don't get conservative. This is something that Mumbai has been continuously doing. After the initial few encounters, all the players have form."
The reputed commentator observed that the depth in the Mumbai Indians batting affords all batsmen the freedom to take the aggressive approach throughout their innings.
"There is depth in their batting which allows all their batsmen to play with freedom and this team is showing that. So that is a huge tick in terms of their performances."
He highlighted the Mumbai Indians pace attack as the franchise's other strength, but added that there is a question mark over Trent Boult's availability for tonight's encounter.
"Their fast bowling is outstanding, the best fast bowling unit in the tournament. But there is an issue about Trent Boult's injury, whether he will be available or not."
Aakash Chopra picked the Mumbai Indians' spin-bowling department as a slight weakness, considering the assault Marcus Stoinis unleashed on Rahul Chahar when the two sides met in Qualifier 1.
"The Mumbai Indians have a slight concern in their spin bowling department. Because the last time these two teams played, Marcus Stoinis had not allowed Rahul Chahar to bowl. Krunal Pandya is alright but he is not the best spinner in this tournament."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals clash
Aakash Chopra recalled that Hardik Pandya played a swashbuckling knock for the Mumbai Indians in their last encounter against the Delhi Capitals.
"In the last match, the hard-hitting Hardik Pandya had done a lot of hard hitting. He had properly shown the Pandya power in his short but memorable innings."
The former KKR player chose Kagiso Rabada as the Delhi Capitals bowler who could pose a challenge to the big-hitting Mumbai Indians batsman.
"The bowler in front of him I am choosing is Kagiso Rabada. So ruthless Rabada vs hard-hitting Hardik Pandya will be a a good contest because the last round has gone in Pandya's favour."
He picked the Delhi Capitals pacer to have the last laugh against the Mumbai Indians middle-order batsman.
"So will Rabada, who had taken 4 wickets in the last match Delhi played, be hit again or will he get Pandya out. I am going for Rabada, I feel his plans will work out."
Aakash Chopra observed that Rabada should not feed Hardik Pandya with deliveries in his hitting arc and should instead target him with short-pitched deliveries.
"Rabada should not bowl yorkers to Pandya and keep the ball away from him around the good length area. He should also try bouncers because it is a big ground in Dubai. Hardik is a compulsive hooker and might get out in the process."
Hardik Pandya smashed an unbeaten 37 off just 14 deliveries for the Mumbai Indians in their last clash against the Delhi Capitals.
Rabada, on the other hand, was taken for 42 runs in his four overs and failed to pick up a wicket. The Purple Cap holder will be keen to bounce back and take the Delhi Capitals to their maiden IPL title.