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IPL 2021: Akash Chopra Thinks MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings Lacks ‘Overall Firepower’

In the previous edition of the IPL, CSK had a forgetful season. The three-time champions finished seventh and missed a play-offs berth for the first time in the history of the tournament.

IPL 2021: Akash Chopra Thinks MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings Lacks ‘Overall Firepower’

The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just under 10 days away and the eight franchises are gearing up in full swing to be in-tune before the start of the 52-day long tournament. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) led by former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was one of the first teams to start preparations, almost a month before the tournament that starts on April 9.

In the previous edition of the IPL, CSK had a forgetful season. The three-time champions finished seventh and missed a play-offs berth for the first time in the history of the tournament. In the upcoming IPL season, CSK will look to turn things around, however, former cricketer and veteran analyst Aakash Chopra believes they are not going to have it easy and may face multiple issues over the course of the tournament.

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Chopra said in a video shared on his Facebook page that the yellow army may get off to a poor start in Mumbai due to a disparity in their team picks and the overall pitch conditions at the Wankhede Stadium. Chopra’s concerns are due to the new rules of the tournament, the matches will be played in the caravan format and no team will play on their home ground. The teams will have to adapt to different conditions on a regular basis and they will no longer have the luxury of the conventional home-and-away- format.

CSK will begin their IPL 2021 campaign on April 10 against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai. They will be playing their first five games in Mumbai, before migrating to Delhi to play their next four matches at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. In their third leg, three matches will take place at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru and they will culminate their league stage with two matches at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

In his video, Chopra said the pitch at Mumbai favours the pacers more and “it’s not particularly helpful to spinners.” As the current CSK squad is a slightly spin-heavy team, he opined that their fast bowling doesn’t have a lot of firepower. He also observed that if CSK win three of their five matches in Mumbai, it will count as a huge 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,” he added.

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However, he is expecting CSK to have a good time in Delhi as the pitch suits their strength, which is spin bowling. “They should be alright in Delhi and assists the spinner a lot. The ball turns and also keeps low at times. The pitch will suit their brand of cricket,” he added.

The 43-year-old said the wicket at Bengaluru may prove to be bad news for the southern franchise. “They do not have a good-enough bowling attack, it is a bat vs bat contest and the team lacks overall bowling firepower required there. So, Bangalore is going to hurt them again.”

Talking about their prospects at the Eden Gardens, he said that “Kolkata is 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.”