Aakash Chopra, a former India opener, says the Sharjah pitch favors Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) (RR). From the start, the surface in Sharjah has been unusually slow. To stay on the crease, batsmen have struggled to play their shots and have been forced to take a conservative approach.
The presence of stroke players in both teams, according to Chopra, makes Sharjah an unpleasant venue for them.
“Unfortunately, the Sharjah venue does not suit Mumbai Indians nor Rajasthan Royals. The reason is that the ball stops and turns on this wicket. Rajasthan has players like Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Glenn Phillips, David Miller who are all stroke makers. Ideally, Mumbai Indians’ batting lineup should like slow wickets but they don’t, which is why they struggled in Chennai as well.” said Chopra
However, MI will be coming off a loss at this site to league leaders Delhi Capitals, while RR will be playing their first game of the season here. In the previous edition, the inaugural champions had a remarkable amount of success at this location. Thus the surface has changed significantly from the one available last year.
Chopra believes that while RR still maintains control of their destiny, they have an advantage in needing to qualify for the playoffs for fourth place. Chopra also believes that the franchise will not be able to keep big-money signing Chris Morris at next year’s auction. To round up his predictions, he chose the Mumbai Indians to win the match.
“Rajasthan Royals can make it to the playoffs, two wins, the team in. Batting has been the real issue for Mumbai Indians this season, it’s just not been happening for him. Reputation alone is not enough, form has been zero. RR will not retain Chris Morris ahead of the auctions. Mumbai Indians will win the match.” Chopra added
RR will enter the match on the heels of a commanding victory against CSK. If MI loses tonight, they will be eliminated from the tournament.