Mumbai: As defending and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) take on two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the opening match of the Tata IPL on March 26, all eyes will be on some of the home-grown players who have impressed everyone with their performances and maturity.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that the CSK duo Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad will play key roles in the team’s campaign in the 15th edition of the event which will be played at four venues in Maharashtra – Wankhede, Barbourne, DY Patil and MCA Stadium in Pune.
In Gavaskar’s opinion, Jadeja is ready to take over the mantle from MS Dhoni, if the team management decides to give the senior batter a break during the event.
“The way Ravindra Jadeja has matured as a player over the last few years, the way he is making the adjustment as far as his game is concerned and the way he reads match situations has been absolutely fantastic. If in the odd game MS Dhoni decides to take a break, I won’t be surprised if the mantle of captaincy will be handed over to Jadeja,” Gavaskar said during a Gameplan show on Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the Tata IPL.
Speaking about the leading run scorer in the last edition, Gavaskar said, “Ruturaj Gaikwad is another player who has very little areas to improve. There is nothing really required as far as Gaikwad’s improvement is concerned. He has got all the shots in the book, but the most impressive aspect is his shot selection. Whatever shot he plays, he doesn’t get cowed down. He is not afraid to play the lofted shot when required and his shot selection has been very good in the IPL. So, there is very little that Ruturaj Gaikwad needs to do. All he needs to do is keep on scoring runs similar to last season.”
Former India opener, Aakash Chopra has put his money on Venkatesh Iyer to give KKR explosive starts with his destructive batting.
“For Team India, he was in the team playing a completely different role as a batting all-rounder and playing the role of a finisher which, in my opinion is a very tough thing to do. But for KKR this season, I see him playing the role of an explosive opener. If you look at the second half of the last IPL, no one really expected him to do what he did. The grounds in Maharashtra are very conducive for stroke making and he will look to provide KKR the kind of start they must be expecting him to give,” said Chopra.
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