Former India wicketkeeper, Parthiv Patel opines that Mumbai Indians would be the team least worried about not playing at its home venue. The BCCI had decided that no team will play at its home ground, and all matches will be at neutral venues.
Parthiv Patel, who was recently appointed as the Talent Scout for the 5-time champions after retirement, says that Mumbai Indians have a squad equipped for playing on all types of pitches. The Rohit Sharma-led outfit will begin its title defence in the tournament opener against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai; after 5 matches they will fly to Delhi – both Chennai and Delhi have pitch assisting the spinners and apart from Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya, MI has acquired the services of Piyush Chawla as well.
Mumbai will then play in Bangalore and Kolkata to finish the league stage where pitches are seam friendly, and they have some of the best pacers in the world.
“I don’t think Mumbai Indians will be thinking of where they are playing next. All the teams would be thinking about where they are playing first and you know, try and get their best team forward, try and get their best XI on the path,” Parthiv Patel told Star Sports.
“If they are playing in Chennai, you might expect some spinner but from the Mumbai Indians’ point of view, I don’t think they have to tinker a lot with their playing XI,” he added.
Parthiv Patel speaks on MI’s bowling strength
Parthiv Patel, who won two IPL titles with MI during his stint from 2015 to 2017, is delighted to see the strength of their bowling department. He points out that Hardik Pandya has started to bowl often – after the all-rounder didn’t bowl a single over last season, he recently played as the fifth bowler, bowling his quota of 4 overs, against England.
The 36-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator reckons that Kieron Pollard could be effective with his slower balls and will give support to the likes of Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya providing options at Rohit’s disposal.
“Hardik Pandya is bowling quite a bit now, almost bowling 4 overs, Pollard bowls his slower ones really well, which might be useful on a Chennai wicket. And obviously, Rahul Chahar had an outstanding IPL, a couple of outstanding IPLs and hence, he was picked for India. Krunal Pandya’s four overs, his form in domestic cricket, so I can go on and on about it,” the former keeper-batsman points out.