Aakash Chopra is at it on Twitter again and this time he is predicting the teams that will make it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League after the first game only. Chopra picked Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Gujarat Lions as his favorites for the playoffs.
Impressed by the first game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chopra started his predictions by picking Sunrisers as the first team to go through. They started their campaign with a convincing 35-run win over a depleted RCB side but the return to form of Yuvraj Singh is what stood out in the game. The David Warner-led side
Mumbai Indians were the second team that Chopra picked in his predictions. The Maharashtra team missed out on the playoffs last season while Rohit Sharma's match fitness is questionable after missing the last few months due to injury. Kieron Pollard, too, has been struggling to find form, of late, scoring just 20 runs in 3 innings in the T20 series against Pakistan. But their entire squad could turn any game in an instant and with Jasprit Bumrah looking menacing yet again, they could be a force to reckon with, this season.
Chopra, who represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL in the 2008 edition of the tournament featuring in 7 games, picked the side as the third team to qualify for the playoffs. The Knight Riders have one of the best squads in the league this season with having the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, and Gautam Gambhir as the core of the team. They have finished in the playoff spots in four of the last six seasons winning the championship on two occasions. So, it would need a monumental mess up by KKR to not qualify this time around.
Finally, for the last one that Chopra picked was last season's table toppers Gujarat Lions to recreate the magic and finish in the top four again. Their batting lineup is as good as anyone with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, and Suresh Raina capable of destroying any attack on their day. However, the Lions will miss Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja for the early part of the IPL and that might play a big part in where they end up at the end of the tournament.
A really early call I know....but there's no fun if you don't call it early 😉— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 6, 2017
My four teams for the playoffs #IPL