He made this observation while previewing the KL Rahul-led team’s clash against the Delhi Capitals (DC) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Delhi Capitals are sitting pretty at the top of the IPL points table. He continued by saying that they are eagerly awaiting the return of Rishabh Pant, who will take the place of a slightly out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane.
“Delhi Capitals are right at the top of the table and waiting for Pant to come back. Because once he is back, Rahane will be left out. It is slightly unfortunate that Rahane was scoring a century in a 20-over match till last year but now he is not getting a place and when he plays his shots, they are going straight to the fielders.”
The renowned commentator added that the lack of runs from Prithvi Shaw’s willow in the last few matches could be a slight concern for the Delhi Capitals. He stated, however, that they would be the team to beat once Pant and Shimron Hetmyer are back in their playing XI.
“Prithvi Shaw has to score runs, he has not scored for some time. So that is an area of concern. But once Pant and Hetmyer are back, then this team is looking as good as gold.”
He observed that there are unlikely to be any changes in the Delhi Capitals team unless the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman makes a return post his recovery.
“There will be no changes in the Delhi Capitals team unless Pant is back. And they are not that perturbed due to Pant’s absence as they are still winning.”
Talking from the Kings XI Punjab perspective, Aakash Chopra opined that they should make a change considering that Glenn Maxwell has not been used effectively as a batsman.
“I still feel Kings XI Punjab have a scope for one change. Are they going to continue playing Maxwell as an off-spinner? You are not getting him to bat, he got out on a duck in the normal match and you didn’t send him in either of the Super Overs.”
The former KKR player added that the Kings XI Punjab have been using the Australian more as an off-spinner against the left-handers in the opposition ranks.
“So, is he playing as an off-spinner who will give you 4 overs who can bowl to left-handers in the opposition. If that’s the thought, then that’s the thought else if not then they should make a change as they concede 50-odd runs in the last three overs.”
Aakash Chopra observed that Kings XI Punjab might be better served by getting in Hardus Viljoen to address their death bowling issues.
“Hardus Viljoen is sitting out, so do you want to use him or do you keep Jordan for the end and get Jimmy Neesham back in the middle. I personally feel that you need another bowler because batting should not be an issue now with Hooda also looking in good form.”
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals encounter
“KL Rahul against Kagiso Rabada will be the player battle to watch out for because this will be the best versus the best.”
The 43-year-old reasoned that the Kings XI Punjab captain has been in outstanding batting form while the Delhi Capitals speedster has been at his wicket-taking best.
“Rahul is in exceptional form, he is the second name for consistency and Rabada picks big wickets in every match with the captain giving him the ball against big players. I feel he will get two cracks, if he doesn’t get Rahul out with the new ball, he will come back again like Bumrah came in the last match.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking the Delhi Capitals as the likely victors in their clash against the Kings XI Punjab tonight.
“I am going with Delhi because their team is looking better and they have more chances of winning.”
A win for the Delhi Capitals in today’s encounter will consolidate their spot at the top of the IPL 2020 points table. A positive result for Kings XI Punjab, on the contrary, will help them climb to the fifth spot and keep them very much in the race for a playoff berth.