The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League or IPL 2020 will begin with a bang when defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on 3-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the first match of the tournament on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
The encounter is a lip-smacking one given that MI has had a better record against CSK in recent years, even beating MS Dhoni’s time four times in the previous tournament, on their way to their fourth IPL title.
Though the yellow army would love to have their revenge for the one-run loss in the IPL 2019 final, former India and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir feels that it will be Rohit Sharma’s MI which will have the upper hand in the opening bout of IPL 2020.
“I am very excited to see how Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah will be bowling together with the new ball. Because Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult are world-class bowlers and both of them are wicket-taking options in T20 cricket. A left-arm seamer who brings the ball in for right-handers and Jasprit Bumrah who is unorthodox,” Gambhir said on the latest episode of Star Sports Cricket Connected chat show.
MI has gone in for some personnel changes with Trent Boult coming in from Delhi Capitals and Nathan Coulter-Nile being bought in the auction. On the other hand, CSK will miss the services of the experienced duo of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, who have opted out of IPL 2020 for personal reasons.
“It will be a huge challenge for Chennai Super Kings as they don’t have Suresh Raina at No.3, plus Shane Watson does not play much international cricket and has not played cricket for a long time, so how he plays against Bumrah and Trent Boult. We will also have to see with whom he would be opening the batting,” he further opined.
“I feel the Mumbai Indians have the upper hand if you see the balance and depth of the squad.” They have also added Trent Boult to their squad, who will give them a very good option,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir has high hopes from the MI bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult, especially in absence of Lasith Malinga in the blue corner.
“Because you want a bowler who can give you wickets with the new ball so that you can use Jasprit Bumrah in a different manner. So I will want to watch how these two perform, not only in the first match but in the entire tournament,” Gambhir said.