The game of cricket is just hours away from taking the centre-stage of the public consciousness yet again. The clash between defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will mark the resumption of much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
One of the most visceral thrills for any sports fan is when some random predictions or any prescient remarks made about the event lands on the spot.
A host of former players and cricket experts have joined in picking their top-four contenders for the playoffs. MI was the only team present in everyone’s list.
From Aakash Chopra to Ian Bishop, none of the pundits had any hesitation in pinning their hopes on Rohit Sharma-led side to qualify for the playoffs.
With a record four championship title, MI is the most successful franchise of the tournament.
Tom Moody and Gautam Gambhir snubs CSK from the list
Meanwhile, Tom Moody and Gautam Gambhir didn’t choose Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their list.
To the unversed, MS Dhoni-led side has received several blows since arriving in the UAE. Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, two of the most experienced cricketers, opted out of the tournament owing to ‘personal reason’.
Further, around 13 members, including two players, turned positive for the coronavirus which led to the postponement of their training schedule by a week.
Chopra, Bishop and Deep Dasgupta reckoned Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a prime contender to qualify for playoffs.
Lastly, Gambhir, Manjrekar and Moody picked David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as well.
Here are the experts’ choices for IPL playoffs:
- Sanjay Manjrekar: Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad
- Ian Bishop: Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Deep Dasgupta: Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders
- Gautam Gambhir: Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals/Rajasthan Royals
- Tom Moody: Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad
- Ajit Agarkar: Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings
- Aakash Chopra: Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore