Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that the Mumbai Indians are the overwhelming favourites to win the title in IPL 2020. He reckoned that the Mumbai-based franchise would have only themselves to blame if they are unable to defend their crown, considering the quality of their side.
Gautam Gambhir and Sanjay Bangar put forth their thoughts on the Mumbai Indians' chances in the upcoming IPL during an interaction on the Star Sports' show Game Plan.
Gautam Gambhir was asked if the Mumbai Indians will be required to start well in the UAE conditions that might not allow them to stage a comeback, given that they generally get off to a poor start in the IPL.
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He responded that the defending champions would definitely like to start on a positive note as it may not always be possible to stage a comeback.
"Professionalism says that, it is a new tournament and you are the defending champions, it is not necessary that you will be able to recover every time after a slow start."
The former KKR skipper claimed that the IPL 2020 title is for the Mumbai Indians' taking, irrespective of the conditions they may be confronted with.
"And the sort of squad they have, this tournament is for the Mumbai Indians to lose and not for any other team to win, whatever be the conditions."
He reasoned that the Mumbai Indians have a well-rounded squad who can perform in all circumstances.
"The depth in their squad has been made considering all conditions. They have batsmen, overseas players, Indian players, impact players and experienced players."
Gautam Gambhir signed off by hoping that the Mumbai Indians get off to a winning start, and reiterated that the four-time champions are the favourites to defend their crown in IPL 2020.
"I hope they get off to a good start because they have a team that can win this tournament again. And again they are the favourites to win."
Sanjay Bangar on Rohit Sharma's lack of success as a batsman for the Mumbai Indians
Sanjay Bangar was asked why the IPL has not been great for Rohit Sharma as a batsman, although he has excelled as a captain for the Mumbai Indians.
The former Indian batting coach responded that he does not concur with the opinion that the Mumbai Indians captain has not done well for the franchise. He pointed out that Sharma is the third-highest run-scorer in the history of the league after Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina.
"I don't agree with this slightly because he is the third-highest run-scorer after Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina and there is not much gap between the three of them."
Bangar pointed out that Rohit Sharma has not enjoyed a set position in the Mumbai Indians batting order, and has plied his trade in the middle order on occasions.
"And Rohit Sharma has not batted at one position because the Mumbai Indians had played him at No.4 and No.5 as well in between."
The former KXIP coach observed that Rohit Sharma's phenomenal performances at the international level over the past few seasons have probably taken the sheen off his performances for the Mumbai Indians.
"So, whatever he has done is great and because his international record has been so good for the last 4-5 years, it has overshadowed his performances for the Mumbai Indians."
Sanjay Bangar concluded by stating that Rohit Sharma has definitely not underperformed for the Mumbai Indians, especially considering the fact that he had led them to four IPL titles.
"And he is the captain as well, so if you see him as an overall package, I don't think he has underperformed."
Rohit Sharma is the third-highest run-scorer in the history of the IPL, with 4898 runs to his name. But he has not set the tournament on fire in the last three seasons, with his average of 25.6 being the lowest amongst all batsmen to have scored more than 1000 runs in this period.
Published 17 Sep 2020, 13:14 IST