Ahead of the IPL opener on Saturday, Sunil Gavaskar has asserted that lack of experienced spinners and a weak middle order might trouble Mumbai Indians during the 2020 season. He also predicted the playing XI for the four-time IPL winners for their clash against CSK in the season opener.
Four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians would walk into the tournament as one of the hot-favourites to lift the title for a record fifth time. They have an able bowling attack in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile while the duo of Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya rope in from time to time. Alongside that, the franchise also has the services of Anukul Roy and Rahul Chahar, who have impressed the management in the past.
However, a stern test for them this season, according to former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar would be how their spinners take on the challenge. Unlike the other sides in the tournament, Mumbai’s spinners have a relatively lesser experience, with only Krunal Pandya playing more than two IPLs while Chahar completed his first full season last time around.
“Yes, you can say that because they do not have the experienced spinners that other sides have,” Sunil Gavaskar told Sports Tak, reported Hindustan Times.
Gavaskar did not stop there, as he criticised Mumbai’s fragile middle order, which might get them into trouble. The former cricketerturned-commentator also addressed that No.4 and No.5 position might be an issue for the franchise, who would have to decide between Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, neither of them being prolific run-scorers.
“The other thing that can be a weakness is middle order. They will have to think who will bat at No.4 and No.5 position. If Quinton de Kock plays, then he will open with either Rohit Sharma or Suryakumar Yadav,” Gavaskar added.
“Ishan Kishan might come in at No.4, he can also open the innings. Kieron Pollard can come in at No.5. Maybe Hardik Pandya can be promoted to No.4. But if that doesn’t happen then who will play at No.4?”
Sunil Gavaskar’s predicted MI Playing XI: 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.