IPL- 'Might not start very well': Aakash Chopra predicts Chennai Super Kings' 2021 campaign

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 31, 2021, 12:34 PM IST

Chennai Super Kings Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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In a video uploaded by Chopra, he felt that Chennai Super Kings' combination will find it difficult to adapt to pitch conditions at the Wankhede Stadium. 

Chennai Super Kings will seek redemption in IPL 2021 after putting a poor show in the 2020 season. The team led by MS Dhoni finished seventh in the Indian Premier League 2020 after getting 12 points from 14 games.  

However, former Indian cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra made some bold predictions about Chennai as he felt that the team could face multiple issues during the upcoming season. 

The COVID-hit season will be played in the caravan format and no team will play on their home ground. Due to this, Chennai will not play at the MA Chidambaram but will play five matches at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and play four matches at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. Their three matches in the third leg will be played at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. 

They will end their league stage of the 2021 season at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

In a video uploaded by Chopra, he felt that Chennai Super Kings' combination will find it difficult to adapt to pitch conditions at the Wankhede Stadium. 

"In Mumbai, the pacers are more successful. 70% of the wickets have been taken by pace bowlers and it's not particularly helpful to spinners and Chennai is a slightly spin-heavy team. They have Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner. They bought Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham. So, the list of spinners in their team is still quite high. Despite letting Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) and [Piyush] Chawla go, they are a spin-heavy unit.

"Their fast bowling doesn't have a lot of firepower. Yes, they have Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Bravo, and Josh Hazlewood. But is that going to be enough? What will be the ideal balance?" added Chopra.

Chopra went on to add that if Chennai led by MS Dhoni, wins even three out of these five matches, it could be counted as an achievement. 

"You are required to score high in Mumbai. The first innings winning score is nearly 180. So, they'll have to play a different brand of cricket there. If Chennai Super Kings can win three of their first five games in Mumbai, I believe that will be a big achievement. My prediction is that they might not start very well," said Chopra.

Aakash Chopra, however, expects Dhoni and Co. to do well in Delhi as it is a small ground and assists a lot of spinners. 

"They should be alright in Delhi because it's a small ground and it (the wicket) assists the spinner a lot. The ball turns and also keeps low at times. The pitch will suit their brand of cricket," added Chopra.

"They do not have a good-enough bowling attack for Bengaluru. Bengaluru is bat vs bat contest and the overall bowling firepower required there is not there with Chennai. So, Bangalore is going to hurt them again."

"Kolkata, [looks] even-stevens. It's become a high-scoring, pace-friendly ground as well. I think Chennai is going to face some difficulties there as well," added Chopra. 

Chennai are set to kick-off their IPL 2021 campaign against Delhi Capitals on April 10.