Former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckons New Zealand pacer Trent Boult’s inclusion in the Mumbai Indians (MI) setup is giving the defending champions an edge over Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Boult was signed by MI as a replacement for veteran Sri Lankan seamer Lasith Malinga, who had opted out of the IPL 2020 due to ‘personal reasons’.
According to Gambhir, Boult and Jasprit Bumrah form a formidable pair and it will be a challenge for CSK to deal with them in the absence of Suresh Raina.
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“I am really excited to watch how Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah will bowl with the new ball, because we all know Bumrah and Boult are world class bowlers, and in the T20 format both are wicket-taking options,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
“A left-arm seamer, who will bring the ball inside for a right hand batsman while Jasprit Bumrah believes in an unorthodox style of bowling.”
A vital cog in CSK’s wheel, Raina had pulled out of the competition citing ‘personal reasons’ last month.
Gambhir acknowledged that Raina’s exit has left a massive void in CSK’s line-up and that it is not going to be easy to find a replacement for the veteran left-hander.
“There will be a challenge for Chennai Super Kings considering they do not have Suresh Raina batting at No. 3. Shane Watson has not played international cricket for a long time, so we would want to know who will open with him and how will these batsmen face these bowlers,” he remarked.
MI will take on CSK in the tournament opener on September 19 and Gambhir, who has led KKR to two IPL titles, believes Rohit Sharma and company will be favourites against MS Dhoni’s men considering the overall team balance.
“I am skewed more towards Mumbai Indians for the opening match because if we notice the team balance and the depth of the squad while not forgetting the addition of Trent Boult in the squad can prove to be an excellent option,” he said.
“Every team wants a bowler who will take wickets with a new ball and use Jasprit Bumrah in an experimental way. I would want to see how these two bowlers perform with the new ball not only in the first match but throughout the tournament.”