Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has named the Mumbai Indians as the biggest threat to the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020. He made this observation while doing a SWOT analysis of the Chennai-based franchise ahead of the upcoming IPL.
Aakash Chopra picked the Mumbai Indians as the team that could pose the biggest threat to the Chennai Super Kings, with the four-time champions having had the wood over the three-time winners more often than not.
"Talking about the threats, they have Mumbai Indians as their biggest threat. If you see the history of the IPL, this is one team against whom they have not been able to display their magic. They tend to lose to the Mumbai Indians."
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The 42-year-old opined that the difficult conditions in the UAE could pose another threat to the Chennai Super Kings, considering the minimal backup options available in the squad.
"One more thing is that, it is going to be extremely hot in the UAE. That is another threat, because in that heat you would be playing back to back matches, the squad is very tight-knit, you don't have too much manoeuvrability."
He reasoned that although Chennai Super Kings might have enough members in their squad, they do not possess match-winners beyond their core group of 15-16 players.
"There are some players in the team whom you may not be able to play because they do not have match-winners beyond their top 15-16 players."
Aakash Chopra analyses the weaknesses in the Chennai Super Kings setup
Aakash Chopra observed that the Chennai Super Kings usually do not have any weaknesses, while pointing out that some of their main stars having been away from competitive cricket could prove to be a hurdle.
"Generally, there aren't many weaknesses in this team. But if you see the overall situation, it is also true that if you have been away from competitive cricket for a long time, then once in a while it eventually catches up with you."
The former KKR player cited the names of Shane Watson, MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay and Kedar Jadhav as some of the Chennai Super Kings' key players who have not played too much top-quality cricket for a long time.
"We have seen with Shane Watson last year, that he had difficulties because of not having played continuously. Now along with him MS Dhoni has not played for a long time, Rayudu, Vijay, Kedar Jadhav. If you are away from cricket for a long time, then it eventually shows up. So this could be a problem or a weakness."
Aakash Chopra highlighted that the probability of injuries could be another concern for Chennai Super Kings, considering the aged members in their squad. He was quick to point out that they have MS Dhoni to take care of all issues.
"They should not have injuries as well because if the team is little old there is a danger of injuries, which could be a slight problem. But then as we say, Dhoni is there to manage everything."
The lack of competitive cricket played by their star players, especially on the batting front, would definitely be a matter of concern for the Chennai Super Kings. With age also not on their side, they might have to hit the straps quickly, or they might falter in the race for the playoff spots.
Published 11 Sep 2020, 13:17 IST