The Indian Premier League (IPL) is possibly the toughest T20 league to win. But Mumbai Indians (MI) have done it four times, one more than Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have also won it a couple of times. So, which team have got the best chance to win it in the United Arab Emirates (IPL) this time? (More Cricket News)
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar has already picked his winners. And it's the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians, the defending champions. The former India opener said that MI "shouldn’t find it too difficult to win the championship again this year.
“You pick a team and say for certain that they will win the IPL because T20 format where a match situation changes within the span of 1 over. But I would certainly say that teams that have played the finals before have an advantage over the others. Playing in the league stage is completely different from playing in the knockouts and final,” Gavaskar told India Today.
In the 2019 final, MI defeated Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK by one run to become the most successful side in the history of the tournament. The Mumbai-based team, in fact, have a history of pulling off improbable wins and are the proud owners of most wins (107).
“Mumbai Indians have won the IPL 4 times which means that they know how to come out of difficult situations. That is why I feel MI shouldn’t find it too difficult to win the championship again this year,” he explained.
MI and CSK face off in the season opener of IPL 2020 on September 19 at Abu Dhabi. The match will be followed keenly, considering the rivalry and how the two potential winners are shaping up. And not to forget how each team will field their best XI. After all, it's the lung opener. A good first day always augurs well, whatever the circumstances.
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Talking about the team and the talent available in the Mumbai camp, the 71-year-old said that "they have applied their brains in picking the new players [in the auction]. It seems like they have everything in the squad, they have all bases covered which makes them a very good team for this season."
But the former India captain shared a couple of concerns for the defending champions -- lack of an experienced spinner and uncertainty surrounding the number four batting position.
“What they don’t have are experienced spinners like other teams. And another area of concern is the middle order, they have to think hard about who will bat for them at No.4 and 5. If Quinton de Kock plays then he will open the innings with either Rohit Sharma or Suryakumar Yadav. But who will bat at No.4?
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“Ishan Kishan can be a good option at No.4 and he can open the batting as well. They can promote Hardik Pandya at No.4 because Kieron Pollard I believe will bat at No.5. But if they don’t do that then what options do they have? Maybe Shane Rutherford can do the job, he is a big-hitter. These two areas – spin attack and middle-order – can cause issues for MI,” Gavaskar added.
He then picked the best playing XI for MI: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult/Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.
Gavaskar also predicted that teams will score "160-180 on an average in IPL 2020".
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