IPL 2020: “Mumbai Indians shouldn’t find it too difficult to win 5th title” – Sunil Gavaskar

Ahead of the 13th edition of Indian Premier League, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has declared Mumbai Indians (MI) as firm favourites, saying the Rohit Sharma-led side shouldn’t find it too hard to win their 5th title.

See Also: Gautam Gambhir explains why MI have an edge over CSK for the tournament opener

The IPL 2020 will begin on September 19. The defending champions will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the tournament opener in Abu Dhabi.

“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.

“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,” Gavaskar told India Today.

He also did a brief analysis of MI’s strengths and weaknesses.

“As I said, experience is one of their biggest strengths. Secondly, the talent that they have in their squad and even the way they picked new players in the 2019 auction… 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.

“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 remarked.

Keeping in mind the pitch and weather conditions in UAE, Sunil Gavaskar also named his playing XI for Mumbai Indians.

“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. I would open with Rohit for the first few games and if he doesn’t score then he can come down to No.3. The more number of overs he plays the better it will be for MI.

“What Mumbai Indians have are plenty of big-hitters like Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya. Pitches in the UAE are on the slower side and the grounds are bigger as well so I think teams should look to score 160-180 on an average in IPL 2020,” Gavaskar said.

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