IPL 2021: "Personally, I don't like the idea" - Aakash Chopra on Krunal Pandya batting at No. 4 for MI

Krunal Pandya played a 39-run knock in MI
Krunal Pandya played a 39-run knock in MI's win against RR [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer
Modified 01 May 2021

Aakash Chopra has opined that the Mumbai Indians (MI) would be better off playing Ishan Kishan instead of Krunal Pandya at the No. 4 spot in their batting lineup.

Krunal Pandya scored 39 runs off 26 deliveries while batting at No. 4 in MI's last match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Rohit Sharma-led side preferred to retain him and left out Kishan, as they included Nathan Coulter-Nile to bolster their bowling for that encounter.

While previewing MI's clash against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Ishan Kishan is more accomplished than Krunal Pandya to bat at the No. 4 position.

"It was certainly interesting that they dropped in the last match. They have enough bowlers but Krunal Pandya batting at No.4. Personally, I don't like the idea. Not that I don't like Krunal Pandya but my issue is that if you are playing him to bat at No.4, then Ishan is better," said Chopra.

The reputed commentator also highlighted that Krunal Pandya bowled just a solitary over against the Rajasthan Royals and is unlikely to get too much bowling against a CSK lineup that has quite a few southpaws.

"And if you have kept him for bowling, then you gave him just the one over. The opposition team will have left-handers here as well. Firstly you will have Moeen Ali, then Suresh Raina, and then Jaddu and Sam Curran. So, you will not be able to bowl Krunal Pandya much here as well," added Chopra.

Krunal Pandya has picked up only three wickets in IPL 2021 thus far. Apart from an excellent spell against the Kolkata Knight Riders, his bowling has been below-par, especially considering that the Mumbai Indians played their first five encounters on the spin-friendly Chepauk pitch.

"MI should get Ishan Kishan instead of Krunal Pandya" - Aakash Chopra

Krunal Pandya averages 13.60 with the bat in IPL 2021 [P/C:]
Krunal Pandya averages 13.60 with the bat in IPL 2021 [P/C:]

Aakash Chopra wants the Mumbai Indians to persist with Jayant Yadav and bring in Ishan Kishan at the expense of Krunal Pandya.

"If that is the case, you should continue to play Jayant, keep the rest also the same and get Ishan Kishan instead of Krunal. Ishan looked alright in Chennai also, he was not doing that bad. Other than that, I don't see scope of any other change in this team," signed off Chopra.

With Krunal Pandya making a useful contribution with the bat in the last match, the Mumbai Indians are unlikely to leave him out from their playing XI. However, they might bring back Kishan for Yadav, who conceded 37 runs in his three overs in the last encounter, if they want to strengthen their batting.

Published 01 May 2021
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