By India Today Sports Desk: India cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra shared his anticipation for an exciting encounter between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 on Friday, May 26.
Chopra believes that while MI will be a tough team to beat, GT cannot be taken lightly. The former cricketer emphasised the quality of both teams but pointed out that the Titans remained at the top of the points table consistently and qualified for the playoffs easily.
“It will not be easy to beat Mumbai. Gujarat are also a good team. Don’t take Gujarat lightly because they remained at No. 1 continuously throughout the tournament. Once they became No. 1, they didn’t go down after that and qualified extremely easily,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“There was no pressure on them to win the last match. Others’ fortunes were in their hands. So I feel it will be an extremely beautiful encounter. It is 50-50. I am not saying anything, whoever plays well should win, what difference does it make to us? We should get to see a good match.”
Refusing to pick a favourite for the match, Chopra expects a thrilling contest between MI openers Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan and GT fast bowler Mohammad Shami. Chopra highlighted the previous encounter between Shami and the Mumbai Indians openers, when Shami went wicketless despite delivering an exceptional spell.
“For me, the contest of the day that you would want to watch attentively is Mohammad Shami bowling to the two Mumbai Indians openers. When both these teams met last time, Shami was bowling under lights but he didn’t get a single wicket,” Chopra said.
Chopra recognised Shami’s brilliance in that game, mentioning that the batters struggled to make contact with the ball but were fortunate to survive. He also pointed out that Rohit has had a poor record in playoff matches, excluding finals, throughout his career and was dismissed cheaply by Hardik Pandya in their last clash.
“However, if you had seen that spell, you would have said what a spell it was, that he should have got not one or two but four or five wickets. The batters weren’t able to touch the ball with their bats but it wasn’t his day, went wicketless. There was a catch in the end which Hardik Pandya dropped,” Chopra said.
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