Aakash Chopra suggests changes for PBKS playing XI vs Mumbai Indians
By SMCS - Apr 13, 2022 2:50 pm
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Former India player Aakash Chopra believes that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) batting unit is capable of scoring more than 200 against the poor Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling unit. The Mayank Agarwal-led side has been doing well with the bat, despite their top order not hitting well. PBKS have scored more than 180 in three out of their four games so far.

mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (MI) started with a loss against DC

Opining that Mayank Agarwal needs to step up, Chopra said on his YouTube channel: “Punjab go hard from ball one. On a bad they score 180 and on a good day they score 215. If the captain does not perform, then the team does not get going fully and the atmosphere won’t be as good. Very often they have found themselves in a position where they are unable to complete their 20 overs.”

Chopra again said: “PBKS should consider bringing back Bhanuka Rajapaksa for Odean Smith. Smith is getting too expensive with the ball. Can also consider bringing in another Indian fast bowler in place of Jitesh Sharma. This PBKS batting unit can score even 225 against this MI bowling and that is not getting chased even by Rohit Sharma.”

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Aakash Chopra again said: “Four openers to score in excess of 100 runs combined. The Pune surface has a lot of bounce and these players love that. Agarwal has not scored much while Dhawan is due for a big one. Rohit Sharma has not looked bad so far, but where are the runs? I am expecting this game to be all about the openers. Rahul Chahar to pick more than 2 wickets. I am guessing either one of the openers and Dewald Brewis. Liam Livingstone will hit at least one six, he comes out to hit maximums only. PBKS is the better team honestly speaking, but I am picking MI to win this match.”

However, Mumbai Indians will be playing their third consecutive fixture at the MCA Stadium in Pune. And, he stated that PBKS have a better bowling attack over Mumbai due to the presence of Chahar and Rabada.

Jitesh Sharma
Jitesh Sharma took a brilliant catch

“Arshdeep has bowled better than Rabada so far. He was even seen explaining to him and that was very good to see. Chahar has done well too. But the rest of the bowling attack needs to stand up now. This is a contest between two batting units, but since Punjab have Chahar and Rabada in their ranks, they have the better bowling unit,” Aakash Chopra shared.

He also stated that Rohit Sharma needs to step up with the bat for the franchise, Aakash Chopra said: “It has been eight to ten years since Rohit scored over 500 runs in an IPL season. So, Rohit Sharma needs to have a 500 run plus IPL season if this team needs to turn a corner and get on a winning run. Ishan Kishan’s strike rate is taking a dive since the first game, perhaps he is taking too much pressure.”

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He also suggested a few changes to the batting order after their rather forgettable tournament. None of their players could do well.

“Suryakumar has to come at No.3, not Dewald Brewis. The best batter of the team needs to get time, he will make the most of it. Then Tilak Varma and Brewis. Mumbai Indians are looking pretty ordinary at the moment. Their auction strategy looks flawed. They are playing with two overseas players, the bowling attack is almost negligible. Everyone are thinking what are they trying to achieve. They have a lot of problems, but not a lot of answers,” he added.

“Do something about the bowling. It is very flat and thin, and will crumble at the slightest pressure. There is only bowling at the moment, no attack. There is only Bumrah at the moment. Try out Meredith or bring back Mills. Or even Markande at least by dropping Murugan Ashwin for a game. If they do not resolve their bowling issues, then this team will continue to sink,” Aakash Chopra concluded.