Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) leg-spinners bowling to the Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma will be one of the key battles to watch out for in the opening clash of IPL 2020. He made this observation while talking about the key battles and the strategies the two teams should adopt in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about the key battles to watch out for in the first match between CSK and MI, Aakash Chopra opted for the tussle between the Chennai Super Kings leg-spinners and Rohit Sharma as one of the important contests.
"First one is a leg-spinner bowling to Rohit Sharma. Because this can happen, MS Dhoni is a very smart captain. It is possible that he will start with Deepak Chahar and get a spinner from the other end."
He pointed out that MS Dhoni could opt to use Imran Tahir or Piyush Chawla with the new ball to bamboozle the MI skipper while acknowledging that the presence of the left-handed Quinton de Kock as the other opener could make the spinner's task difficult.
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"It can be Imran Tahir or Piyush Chawla but you will get a left-handed Quinton de Kock, so it will be a question if a leg-spinner can bowl. But I will say leg-spinners bowling to Rohit Sharma will be a beautiful battle to watch out for."
The former KKR player picked the contest between the MI pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and the CSK batsmen as the other battle to look forward to.
"The second battle will be Bumrah vs the Chennai Super Kings batsmen."
Aakash Chopra on the strategies the two teams can adopt in the MI vs CSK opening clash
Aakash Chopra opined that Rohit Sharma should be opening the batting for MI, which is something Hitman is already planning to do, with Suryakumar Yadav batting at No. 3.
"Mumbai Indians should keep a few things in mind. Firstly Rohit should open which he has already said that he will and he should do as well. I am not expecting that he starts smashing straightaway, he may not score too many runs but he should continue to open and Suryakumar should bat at No.3."
The reputed commentator pointed out that Kieron Pollard, the in-form batsman in the MI line-up, should be sent ahead of the Pandya brothers in the batting order to make the best use of his prolific form.
"I am also thinking that Pollard should be sent up the order because if you see the whole unit, there is only one batsman who is coming with the form of the CPL and you should not let that form go. You might be tempted to play Krunal and Hardik Pandya above him but I will urge them to send Pollard up the order, even at No.4 if possible."
From the CSK perspective, he hoped that Ravindra Jadeja is given an opportunity up the order considering the absence of left-handers in their batting lineup.
"If I see from Chennai Super Kings angle, I would say that they should use Jaddu more in the batting as they do not have a left-hander in the top order. You can send him in the middle and see what happens."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that even MS Dhoni should promote himself in the batting order to acclimatise himself with the conditions.
"Dhoni should also promote himself a little and give himself more time. The two of them should have a bigger role as they will be the keys as the tournament progresses."
Suresh Raina's absence has hit CSK hard due to the lack of any other left-handed front-line batsmen in their squad. Other than Ravindra Jadeja, the Chennai-based franchise could also opt to use Sam Curran or Mitchell Santner up the order if either of them is part of their playing XI.
Published 19 Sep 2020, 12:12 IST