Former India batsman Aakash Chopra has predicted the four teams he believes will qualify for the playoffs based on their current form. All the teams have played at least 10 games so far and the tournament has entered into its business end where each result is crucial.
For Aakash Chopra, there is “no doubt” that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will reach the playoffs; both sides are sitting with 16 points, holding the top two spots currently. He is positive that Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will also qualify; RCB have 14 points with three games to go.
For the fourth position, the 44-year-old commentator picked his former team, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), over the Mumbai Indians (MI). Both the teams have 10 points in 11 games, but Aakash Chopra has a “strong feeling” that Eoin Morgan’s team will go through.
In his YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “Chennai, Delhi there’s no doubt about that. Third, hopefully, Bangalore will qualify. For fourth, there’s going to be a fight between Mumbai and Kolkata. I have a strong feeling that if Kolkata doesn’t hit a self-goal, they’ll make it. If Russell is fit then there will be no self-goal but it can happen here because the captain is in zero form. However, it’s Eoin Morgan, a big player, so it’s also possible that he might turnaround his form and give a strong finish.”
For Mumbai, there’s something not going for them: Aakash Chopra
Addressing Rohit Sharma’s outfit, the former opener stated that MI haven’t been as dominating as they had been for the past few seasons. Mumbai started off the UAE leg with three consecutive losses, but managed to end it with a win over Punjab Kings, which, for Aakash Chopra, still “wasn’t convincing”.
“I am tilting towards Kolkata for a simple reason that Mumbai isn’t looking like the ‘Paltan’ of the old. Yeah, you won against Punjab but even that wasn’t convincing. They are winning all games scrappingly, which isn’t like them.”
Further, MI have a tough opponent in Delhi in front of them next, while KKR face three teams who are below them in the points table. Hence, he is backing KKR to pip over MI for the fourth spot in the playoffs.
“They still have one game to go against Delhi which is the next game only in Sharjah. If you lose this, you won’t have luck on your side because Kolkata’s all matches are against teams placed below them. Kolkata have got something going for them, for Mumbai, there’s something not going for them,” Chopra further explained.
CSK, meanwhile, will meet Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday in Sharjah. A victory for MS Dhoni’s team will seal a playoff berth.