Aakash Chopra, ahead of the 2021 IPL, has insisted that Chennai Super Kings will have to play a different brand of cricket in their opening five games in Mumbai. While stating that the three-time champions might not start well, he added that they could pick pace in Delhi where the ball will turn.
While Chennai Super Kings were hopeful and cheerful about returning to their den, Chennai, they were handed a piece of bad news when the IPL Governing Council announced that teams would play on neutral venues. CSK’s auction strategy was solely based on the playing conditions, which now would differ, with pitches in Mumbai not aiding their ‘spin’ friendly tactics.
Alongside that, last year when put under the pump of chasing big totals, the franchise succumbed under pressure. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra reckoned that CSK will have to play a different brand of cricket if they have to succeed in the first five games of the competition in Mumbai.
"You are required to score high in Mumbai. The first innings winning score is nearly 180. So, they'll have to play a different brand of cricket there. If Chennai Super Kings can win three of their first five games in Mumbai, I believe that will be a big achievement. My prediction is that they might not start very well," Chopra said on his Facebook video.
Despite the fact that CSK have the likes of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Bravo, and Josh Hazlewood, the former opener suggests that it won’t be enough to trouble the batsmen.
"Their fast bowling doesn't have a lot of firepower. Yes, they have Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Bravo, and Josh Hazlewood. But is that going to be enough? What will be the ideal balance?" added Chopra.
Post that, however, CSK would make their travel to Delhi, where conditions would be similar to home, with the pitches aiding the spinners. Chopra reckoned that CSK would pick up pace during that phase of the tournament very nicely.
"They should be alright in Delhi because it's a small ground and it (the wicket) assists the spinner a lot. The ball turns and also keeps low at times. The pitch will suit their brand of cricket," added Chopra.
However, the next two venues - Bengaluru and Kolkata - where once again defending totals are a headache, Chopra reckoned that CSK would have a tough time.
"They do not have a good-enough bowling attack for Bengaluru. Bengaluru is bat vs bat contest and the overall bowling firepower required there is not there with Chennai. So, Bangalore is going to hurt them again," he concluded.