Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has come up with his choice of the four teams reaching the playoffs in IPL 2021. The countdown for IPL 2021 has already begun as Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns on Friday during the season opener at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Aakash Chopra named Punjab Kings on his Twitter handle as one of the contenders and underlined the reason.
Aakash Chopra believes their captain KL Rahul is one of the significant reasons why Punjab Kings will make it to the playoffs in IPL 2021. The classy right-handed batsman might have struggled in his most recent T20 outings; however, he has been amongst the highest run-getters in the last three seasons. With 670 runs in IPL 2020, the 28-year old earned the Orange Cap.
Punjab Kings strengthened their bowling unit for IPL 2021 by recruiting express pacemen in Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. The franchise has also roped in the number one T20I batsman Dawid Malan and picked a specialist finisher in Shahrukh Khan. Aakash Chopra’s next choice was the Mumbai Indians, who lifted their fifth trophy last year and became only the second franchise to defend their title successfully. The Rohit Sharma-led team has all the goods to complete an IPL hat-trick.
The 43-year old’s remaining two picks were Delhi Capitals and SunRisers Hyderabad. Since debuting in 2013, the Orange Army has failed to reach the playoffs only twice, finishing as the runners-up in 2018 and bagging the crown in 2016. The onus lies on their captain David Warner, one of the prolific run-getters in IPL and the bowling attack, one of the best.
On the other hand, Delhi Capitals sneaked into their first final last year; however, they lost to the Mumbai Indians. The Capitals suffered a body blow as a shoulder injury forced their regular captain Shreyas Iyer out of the tournament. While Rishabh Pant, Iyer’s replacement, is in the form of his life, it remains to be seen how he marshalls his side. Nevertheless, they have the experience and T20 specialists to go all the way.
Below is Aakash Chopra’s tweet:
I can’t explain why I went with Punjab….May be because of Kamaal Lajawaab Rahul 🙌🤗 #AakashVani
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 8, 2021