Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has expressed hope that Rohit Sharma would have recovered from the injury he sustained in the Mumbai Indians' (MI) last match and would be fit to play against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
He made this observation while previewing the encounter between the two most successful IPL teams in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that tonight's encounter is a must-win for CSK, and questioned if the MS Dhoni-led team has the potential to win all their four remaining matches.
"It is do or die for CSK although their future may not be in their hands. Even if they win the remaining four matches, it will come down to net run rate. But can they win four matches and can they defeat the Mumbai Indians."
The renowned commentator suggested that CSK should play Narayan Jagadeesan if they are looking at blooding youngsters. He also opined that the last-placed team in the points table should play a bowler instead of Kedar Jadhav.
"Jagadeesan will be my choice if CSK is looking to give chances to youngsters because he had played well in one of the matches. I would still say that they should play another bowler instead of Kedar."
He reasoned that CSK still have an outside chance of making it through to the playoffs and should therefore field their best possible XI.
"They should keep the rest of the team same and see what happens, you are technically not out of the tournament yet. They should continue to give themselves a chance, at least for this one more game and then do whatever they want if they don't win this one."
Talking from the Mumbai Indians perspective, Aakash Chopra mentioned that he does not want to comment on the rumours that Rohit Sharma may not have recovered from the injury he sustained in their last match against the Kings XI Punjab.
"I have not understood the news from the Mumbai Indians' camp. In the last match Rohit had got injured, there are rumours floating around if he will be fit for this match. I am not going to add any fire to that rumour."
The former KKR player added that there is no need for the Mumbai Indians to make any team changes for tonight's encounter against CSK.
"There is no scope of a change for the Mumbai Indians if everyone is fit. The last match, with the double Super Over, is draining but that was a while ago and there was time for Rohit to have probably recovered from his injury."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Rohit Sharma-led outfit is the much stronger team on paper compared to CSK, if one were to disregard the former's injury concerns.
"So, I am not going with injuries. The scales are heavily tilted towards the Mumbai Indians, considering their pedigree and form."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the CSK vs MI encounter
While picking the contest between Jasprit Bumrah and MS Dhoni as the player battle to watch out for in the MI vs CSK encounter tonight, Aakash Chopra observed that the scales might be tilted in the former's favour.
"Is it the battle of the unequals at this point in time? If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said what a battle it is - Bumrah vs Dhoni."
The 43-year-old reasoned that the CSK captain is not in his prime and has been targeted with short-pitched bowling.
"Although I am still looking at that battle but from a very different vantage point. You know that whenever Dhoni comes these days, everyone bowls a bouncer at him even if he is Kartik Tyagi."
He pointed out that Bumrah will be at his meanest best when bowling to Dhoni, but added that the talismanic CSK captain could take a toll on the Mumbai Indians speedster if he picks his slower ball.
"Bumrah is going to be a mean bowler when it comes to a one-on-one duel. It is a small ground, and if Bumrah bowls a slower one and Dhoni reads it, he will hit it a long distance. So Bumrah vs Dhoni is the battle I am looking forward to watch."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking the Mumbai Indians as the likely victors in their clash against CSK tonight.
"I am saying Mumbai is going to win this game against Chennai."
A win for the Mumbai Indians in today's encounter would take them to the top of the IPL 2020 points table. A positive result for the Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, will keep their slender hopes of making it through to the playoffs alive.
Published 23 Oct 2020, 12:09 IST