Gautam Gambhir has said that the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 will benefit the Mumbai Indians squad as there will be upfront swing for pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The former KKR captain added that Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya will also relish batting on the true-paced wickets.
The two-time IPL winning captain explained that MI bowlers will successfully be able to swing the ball, while their hard-hitting batsmen will enjoy the balls coming onto their bat.
“They’ve played in conditions that are completely different to where they normally play in. When you see the conditions in Chepauk or Delhi, they are completely different from what you get at Wankhede. And, as I mentioned, they are going into conditions that are suited to their fast bowling - people like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult.
"There will be swing upfront, so they will be very dangerous. Plus, Mumbai wants balls to swing and you’ve got quality fast bowlers and it’s going to be an advantage for them. Plus their batters, want the balls to come on to the bat as well, people like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, all those guys struggled at Chepauk, because it was gripping and turning," Gambhir said on Star Sports' show 'Game Plan'.
Further, the 39-year-old asserted that the perennial 'slow starters' will have to get into the groove straightaway if they plan to reach the play offs stage. Notably, after fours win in the seven matches, Mumbai are currently placed fourth on the points table.
"They are not going to struggle, once they start playing in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. So, that’s the reason why I would feel Mumbai Indians will have an advantage; they can’t afford slow starter anymore, because they have seven games to go and they might have to win 5 matches to qualify, so they can’t afford to be in that situation, where they have to win five out of five,”
IPL 2021 was initially postponed indefinitely after just 29 matches in May due to Covid-19 outbreak in India. However, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was later able to find a window, taking the tournament to the UAE where it will be played from September 19 to October 15 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.