The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to begin on April 9, 2021, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) are scheduled to take on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the season opener.
Ahead of the tournament, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that MI will be hard to beat. The Mumbai-based franchise beat Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL 2020 final to lift their fifth title. He added that MI’s players including the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya are currently in their prime form.
“Mumbai Indians will be hard to beat. We have just seen their players coming to form. Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav – the way they have batted. Hardik Pandya – the way he has come today,” said Gavaskar.
‘Don’t know what kind of performance RR gonna put up’: Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar mentioned that there were no players from Rajasthan Royals in the current Indian playing XI for the limited-overs format. So, he looked a bit unsure about their performance in the upcoming IPL edition.
The legendary cricketer also shed light on the importance of Hardik Pandya bowling during the final ODI against England. He said that Hardik’s bowling is not just crucial for Mumbai Indians but will also help India at the World Test Championship final in England.
“So, Mumbai Indian players who have participated in the T20I and the ODI series, they have shown that they have been in very good form. You saw Chahal being hammered, you saw Kuldeep being hammered… There is no Rajasthan Royals player in the Indian team. So, I don’t know what kind of performance they’re gonna put up.
“Not just for Mumbai Indians, it was important for Indian cricket to see Pandya bowl 9 overs. That shows that he is ready to play in the Test format as well. It’s [the WTC final] in June, there is still time. But the way he’s come back… that is very very good for Mumbai Indians as well as India cricket,” Gavaskar signed off.