Former India opener Aakash Chopra is one of the best cricket analysts on the block today and recently predicted the top six Indian batsmen, who would score the most runs in the upcoming IPL 2021 edition, which begins from April 9 onwards.
The tournament will see Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) lock horns in the opening match of the tournament in Chennai. The whole tournament will take place across six cities in India- Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium will also host the playoff and the final of the tournament to be played on May 30th.
Rohit Sharma Has Been Consistent For Mumbai Indians: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra feels Rohit Sharma will fare much better this season, given the added responsibility of playing on spin-friendly tracks in Chennai and Delhi early in the season.
“If you see Rohit Sharma’s average numbers for the last few seasons, he has been consistent for Mumbai but his stats are not stellar or extraordinary. He’s a captain of such a good team that he doesn’t even need to score that much. However, I feel Rohit will be more important this year because the first few matches are in Chennai and Delhi. In these pitches, Indian batsmen will have a greater role to fulfill. And Rohit has batted with a lot more responsibility in the last 6 months. You know if he stands there for 8-10 overs, he’ll take the game away in the end. I am pinning my hopes on Rohit Sharma enjoying a great season this year,” said Aakash Chopra.
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Virat Kohli Will Wear The Orange Cap This Season: Aakash Chopra
However, Chopra’s choice of the winner of the Orange Cap for most runs in IPL 2021 was RCB captain Virat Kohli.
“I am predicting that he [Virat Kohli] will wear the Orange Cap this season. He is going to play as an opener and history is witness that all his hundreds have come as an opener. He’s bringing a stellar form to the IPL. Last time he just came out of lockdown, didn’t get to practice enough so was slow off the blocks. But this time I am not expecting 400-500 but 600-700 runs from him. When it comes to scoring runs, he, like every other great batsman, is selfish for scoring runs. He’s hungry for runs and will likely be the top-scorer this season,” said Aakash Chopra.
Only Batsman Who Can Snatch The Orange Cap From Virat Kohli Is Rishabh Pant: Aakash Chopra
Rishabh Pant was Chopra’s alternate to Kohli as the winner of the Orange Cap for IPL 2021, and for that Chopra suggested that Pant promotes himself to no.3 in the batting order.
“The last IPL season was very middling for him. He was also assigned a slightly different role of being watchful and that disrupted his chances for India’s ODI and T20 teams as well. But eventually, when he started scoring runs, he hasn’t looked back since. This six-hitting ability he has, if he gets to bat at No. 3, he will hit the most sixes in the tournament. He has the maturity, the skills and the unparalleled bravado to perform. He will also be a contender for the Orange Cap and might just snatch it from Virat Kohli,” said Chopra.
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Suryakumar Yadav Is Phenomenal And Is Currently Unstoppable: Aakash Chopra
At no.1, Aakash Chopra chose Mumbai Indians’ Suryakumar Yadav, who recently made his India debut in style, hitting his first ball in T20Is for a six and scoring a fifty in his first outing with the bat. Chopra predicted the confidence he is carrying will help him do well in the IPL 2021.
“Suryakumar Yadav is phenomenal and is currently unstoppable as well. I believe he will keep playing like this because his confidence after playing for India is ‘SKY’ high. Nowadays he’s also hitting some unorthodox strokes, but he will be fine even without them. He will bat at a good number like the last time. Both he and Ishan Kishan will score a lot of runs but Suryakumar Yadav makes my list,” said Aakash Chopra.
KL Rahul Will Definitely Score 500+ Runs: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra’s next pick was Punjab Kings’ skipper KL Rahul, who won the Orange Cap in IPL 2020 with 670 runs including the highest score of 132*. Chopra felt that Rahul will again have a good season this time but his strike-rate woes might continue.
“At number 5 I have KL Rahul. He always scores good runs and this year will be no different. He will definitely score 500+ runs. We all are a bit greedy and want KL to play a bit quicker but it might be required and it might not be required. He could again be the anchor. He has that ability to hit big shots while being technically correct. I am expecting KL Rahul to have a good season. His strike rate might still be a concern and a talking point but there will be no dearth of runs,” said Aakash Chopra.
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Shikhar Dhawan Will Be A Man On A Mission: Aakash Chopra
The 6th and last man on Chopra’s list was DC’s Shikhar Dhawan, who also scored 600+ runs in IPL 2020. In fact, Dhawan became the first batsman in IPL history to hit two consecutive centuries.
“Whether he admits it or not, it would have pinched him that he was excluded from India’s T20 side after just 1 T20I. It was a bit unfair on him. Now he will be a man on a mission. He scored runs in the last IPL, then in the ODI series and he will do the same here as well. Shikhar Dhawan is at his best when he’s pushed against the wall. He will hit the ground running and score runs consistently,” concluded Aakash Chopra.
The IPL 2021 carnival will begin on April 9 with a face-off between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.