The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is going to be the toughest T20 tournament to win. Mumbai Indians (MI) have already won the title four times, one more than Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have also won it a couple of times. This year it is going to be tougher. It isn’t easy to predict the winner as of now. But former Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has done it easily.
Former cricketer and current commentator, Sunil Gavaskar has already picked his winners. And it is none other than Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.
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 having 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 2019 final, MI defeated MS Dhoni-led CSK by one run to become trophy holder for the fourth time.
“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,” former Indian opener explained.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings on September 19 at Abu Dhabi. In such circumstances, it will be exciting to see how each team will field their best XI.
Further, talking about Mumbai Indians, the former Indian captain said that “they have applied their brains in picking the new players. 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 71-year old also shared some major concerns for the defending champions i.e., 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?
“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.
Sunil Gavaskar’s 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”.