One of the greatest batsmen of all time, Sir Viv Richards has termed the young blood Mayank Markande and Suryakumar Yadav as the two biggest positives for the Mumbai Indians (MI) despite their series of defeats in the ongoing IPL 2018.
He also believes that the young duo can change the fortune of the MI against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Pune.
The West Indies great went on to further note that the youngsters have always played the key role in the franchise's success in the IPL and the same thing is happening in this season as well.
In his column for The Times of India, Richards wrote, “Contributions from young blood have been an important aspect in every team’s performance this season and the editions before. Having said that, Mumbai have found an elixir with Mayank Markande, who has been outstanding with the ball just as Suryakumar Yadav has been with the bat, despite results not going the way of their team.”
The batting great also highly impressed with the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) young pacer Ankit Rajpoot, who became the first bowler to pick up a fifer (5/14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad) in the ongoing IPL 2018.
He has also lavished praise on the SRH’s bowling attack which has brilliantly defended low totals twice, despite not having Bhuvneshwar Kumar in their line-up for the last 2 games.
He went on to note, “It was a pleasure to watch the way Punjab’s Ankit Rajpoot bowled against the Sunrisers, picking up the first five-for of the season. But again, Hyderabad’s bowling led by the sensation named Rashid Khan and a certain Siddarth Kaul, was something different. Remember, SRH have now won two low scoring games with their star pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the bench.”
On Saturday (28 April), the struggling MI will take on table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and the West Indian great is expecting another classic battle in Pune despite Mumbai’s poor result on the paper so far on the T20 tournament.
The occasional cricket commentator added, “It will be yet another classic battle when the league leaders Chennai take on Mumbai, who have not been at their best this season. Looking at the depth of both the squads on paper, it’s tough to pick a winner. MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are great captains and they, as everyone knows, can turn the whole complexion of the league around in a few games with their team.”
Richards signed off by saying, “The eleventh edition of the IPL started with the same teams clashing in Mumbai and it went down to the wire with Chennai managing to sneak past the hosts with a ball to spare. That match was again a reminder to the world that the game of cricket is for the ones who are brave enough to take their chances. Neither Dhoni nor Rohit would have foreseen the current situation their teams are in, especially, the results Mumbai have had. It will be interesting to watch what strategies Mumbai look to adapt to, as they walk into must-win games from here ons, starting with Chennai tonight.”