Aakash Chopra, the former Indian cricketer-turned commentator, has heaped high praise on the five-time champions Mumbai Indians following their latest heist in the IPL besides adding that the Rohit Sharma-led team can beat the rest of the Indian T20 team if they compete against each other in T20 cricket.
In a video posted on his official Facebook page, the former opener hailed the power-packed middle-order of the Mumbai Indians which consists of Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers- Hardik and Krunal.
“The Mumbai Indians have so much depth that the opposition drowns in that. If you talk about batting, they have Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya after Kieron Pollard. They hit so much that stopping them becomes impossible.” Aakash Chopra said.
Chopra further added that the 5-time IPL champions have incredible bench-strength, something that was testified with the success of Jayant Yadav, who despite having not played throughout the season was included in the playing 11 for the finals in place of regular spinner Rahul Chahar.
“If you talk about their bowling, they kept on playing Rahul Chahar for the entire tournament and when the chance came they played Jayant Yadav and he also did well. Anukul Roy comes as a fielder and takes 2-3 catches and they have a plethora of fast bowlers with them.” he added.
Aakash Chopra compares Mumbai Indians with the rest of the Indian Team
Aakash Chopra further hailed Mumbai Indians as the best franchise team in the world besides adding that of the trio of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya play for them against the rest of the Indian team, then they will beat them as well.
“This team does not have any deficiency. There is no doubt that the Mumbai Indians is the best franchise team in the world, but if they play a three-match T20 series against the Indian team where the Mumbai Indians players will play for them, i.e. Rohit Sharma, Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, I feel they will defeat Team India as well.” Aakash Chopra said.
Chopra said that a major part of India’s strength comes from the players that represent the Mumbai Indians. He also claimed that MI’s middle-order is way more compact than India’s.
“Team India’s biggest strength is Bumrah’s bowling, that is there with Mumbai, Rohit Sharma’s opening, that is with Mumbai. If you talk about batting depth – Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard – their No.5, 6 and 7 is better than the Indian one.” he added.
The former KKR opener further said that the top-4 of Mumbai Indians- Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, and SuryaKumar Yadav- will give stiff competition to India’s top-4- Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer.
“Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma’s opening combination will give competition to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, whom you might feel is their weak link, should have been in the Indian team. I leave it to you to decide on who would do better if India plays say Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.” he added.
He also reckoned that the Mumbai Indians’ seam-bowling attack is also better than that of India’s.
“If you see the bowling, keep Bumrah in front of Shami, Trent Boult in front of Deepak Chahar/Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pattinson/Nathan Coulter-Nile in front of Navdeep Saini, tell who will be better.” Chopra added.
The only department where Aakash Chopra feels that Team India will have an advantage over Mumbai Indians is the spin-bowling department. He, however, added that it wouldn’t make much difference since Mumbai Indians have a multitude of cricketers who will come out trumps against 100s of other players.
“There is only one area where the Indian team might be actually better and that is the spin department where you might play Ravindra Jadeja/Kuldeep Yadav with Yuzvendra Chahal.” he said.
”But that does not make a difference. Every single player of the Mumbai Indians will come up trumps against 100 players.” he reckoned.
Aakash Chopra signed off by once again hailing Mumbai Indians as the best team on the planet, claiming that they will easily humble the Indian team if they play against them.
“So, it was a near-perfect season for the Mumbai Indians. They are the best team on the planet and will humble India as well if they play against them, that’s what I feel.” Chopra signed off.