Just after a couple of weeks, fans would begin witnessing matches of the biggest T20 tournament in the world – the Indian Premier League (IPL). The 13th edition of IPL is all set to begin from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ahead of the competition, experts of the captivating game have started picking their favourite players and teams. The latest name in the trend is of former Indian opener, Aakash Chopra. The cricketer-turned-commentator has selected a list of six Indian batsmen who are likely to have a great IPL 2020.
Chopra shared views on his official YouTube channel. He started the proceedings by naming players in reverse order. At No.6, Chopra picked Delhi Capitals’ wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. He said the DC should promote Rishabh in the batting order.
“At No.6, I am keeping Rishabh Pant. I feel this year will be good for Rishabh Pant and it will also be important for him. He plays well against spin and will play a couple of innings that we will not be able to forget. And I hope that Delhi sends him a little up the order,” said Chopra.
The former Delhi cricketer placed Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma at the 5th spot in his list. He said, “At No.5, I am going with Rohit Sharma. He will surely score runs, but I am not 100% certain if he will be at the top of the highest run-scorers list. I like him as a player, but you keep waiting for a season when he scores 600-700 runs for Mumbai Indians.”
Chopra, who once played for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), picked Shreyas Iyer as the fourth batsman who could shine in IPL 2020. He reckoned that the upcoming season would be good for the Delhi Capitals captain.
“At No.4, I am going with Shreyas Iyer. I feel his season will be good. What goes is in favour is that he is fit, young and has a lot of hunger for runs. He was in the red-hot form before the lockdown and has assumed responsibility since he has been made the captain and his game has improved. He plays very well against spin and has some shots down the ground that make you go wow,” added Chopra.
Chopra placed Virat Kohli at the second position
The 42-year-old picked Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain, MS Dhoni, as his number three batter. Chopra believed that since Dhoni has retired from international cricket he will play more freely in IPL 2020.
“At No.3, I have got MS Dhoni. I feel he will have a good IPL. Because he has not played for 12-14 months and retired from international cricket as well and he will have only one target, to help CSK win,” Chopra added further.
Chopra came with a surprise when he named Kohli as his number second batsman. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper is the highest run-scorer in IPL’s history, having accumulated as many as 5412 runs in 177 games.
Despite the staggering record, Chopra selected Kohli for the number second spot. He said: “At No.2, I have got the run-machine Kohli. He is a player you cannot keep away from runs or cricket. Since he has been away, he is going to go berserk. It will be required to run a lot in UAE; fitness will be required, he ticks all those boxes.”
At the top spot in his list, Chopra selected Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul. Chopra also felt that Rahul would perform brilliantly in the upcoming IPL and finish the tournament with the Orange Cap.
“At No.1, I am going with KL Rahul. The kind of form that he has been in with the added responsibility that he is now the KXIP captain and with the type of mindset he has at the moment, I think he is going to rock it. I am expecting that he will be the top run-getter amongst the Indians in the tournament and could end up with the Orange Cap,” concluded Chopra.