Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has named the most valuable player (MVP) from each of the eight franchises in IPL 2020 according to him. With only ten days to go for the marquee tournament to begin, Aakash Chopra has made quite a few exciting predictions. The 2020 season will take place in the UAE due to the grim situation in India, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aakash Chopra commenced with the defending champions Mumbai Indians and picked Hardik Pandya as the man to make the difference. He added that the massive names are Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah; however, all three have single skillsets in them. As far as Pandya goes, he could make contributions on all three fronts.
“Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are some of the big names in Mumbai Indians. I could have gone with Kieron Pollard but he doesn’t bowl much for MI. Rohit Sharma, one skill, only a batsman. I am tempted to pick him but I am going with Hardik Pandya based on my gut feel. I feel he will be making crucial contributions with both bat and ball throughout the IPL,” Aakash told in his Youtube channel.
Aakash Chopra picked all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as the most vital player for three-time champions and runners-up of 2019, Chennai Super Kings. The 42-year old added that the yellow army looks depleted without MS Dhoni; however, he bats too low in the order and is thus unable to contribute substantially with the bat. Hence, he went ahead with Jadeja to make the difference with the bat, ball and while fielding.
“I am leaning towards Ravindra Jadeja as the MVP for Chennai Super Kings. I am thinking about MS Dhoni also because this team cannot operate without him. But Dhoni sometimes bats too low down the order, so he is not able to contribute much with the bat in a lot of matches. So, I am going with Ravindra Jadeja for his contribution with bat, ball and in the field,” the 42-year old stated.
Three-time finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore were next in line for who, the reputed commentator made an unsurprising choice. Aakash went with Virat Kohli amid the likes of AB De Villiers, Moeen Ali, Aaron Finch, and Yuzvendra Chahal in their repertoire. He backs the RCB skipper to cross 600 runs in the entire season.
“Royal Challengers Bangalore has AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali, Aaron Finch and Chahal. I am going with Kohli, with the bat he is an absolute beast. Even when he doesn’t do well, he scores 30-35 runs. This could be once again a season where he could score more than 600 runs,” the former Indian cricketer asserted.
The former Indian cricketer proceeded to pick leggie Rashid Khan for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He understands that the Orange Army has ample match-winners like David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Mohammad Nabi, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He had a close tussle between Warner and Rashid; however, looking at the conditions in the UAE, he went ahead with the Afghan spinner.
“In Sunrisers Hyderabad, Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would come in contention. I feel it is a toss-up between David Warner and Rashid Khan, but considering UAE and Rashid with the bat these days, I am going with Rashid Khan. Mohammad Nabi could also be there and thereabouts,” he claimed.
Aakash Chopra picks the possible MVPs for the remaining four franchises:
Chopra moved on to the Kolkata Knight Riders, for whom he believes is a toss-up between Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. He unsurprisingly picked Andre Russell, who believes will be involved in match-turning moments. At the same time, he backs Sunil Narine to do well with both bat and ball but expects Russell to be the game-changer.
“Kolkata Knight Riders has many match-winners. But when you talk about MVP, the toss-up will be between Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. I am going with Andre Russell because I feel that Narine the bowler in the IPL will be alright and he will also do good with the bat, but Andre Russell would be seen mostly in the match-changing moments,” Aakash asserted.
Aakash Chopra picked Delhi Capitals’ skipper Shreyas Iyer as the franchise’s star performer. He feels that Rishabh Pant would be a very close competitor; however, has a hunch of Shreyas Iyer eclipsing him.
“Delhi Capitals also has quite a few match-winners. Here it is a toss-up between Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. Personally I feel that this year will be Shreyas Iyer’s. It is just a hunch that I am having,” Chopra conceded.
The 42-year old opted for KL Rahul, the captain of Kings XI Punjab as the star performer amongst a plethora of match-winners. Aakash highlighted that he could well keep wickets as well and could end up as the highest run-getter amongst Indians in the competition.
“Kings XI Punjab have many match-winners littered around but I will go with KL Rahul. He will be keeping, batting and captaining as well although Nicholas Pooran could also keep. He could actually end up as the highest run-scorer in the IPL amongst Indians,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh-born stated that amid the big names in Rajasthan Royals, he would pick Jos Buttler, owing to his prowess with the bat. He highlighted Buttler’s ability to play spin well and the UAE pitches would aid batsmen in the initial phase. The Englishman has also been in a sensational form for the national team with the bat.
“Rajasthan Royals also has big names. I am going with Jos Buttler as the MVP. The entire world knows when his bat talks. He plays spin well and the UAE pitches would be good for batting in the initial stages,” he added further.