The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is heading towards its business end with the playoffs stage little over a week away from now. MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings have become the first side to reach the IPL 2021 playoffs but three other spots are still up for grabs.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that CSK and Delhi Capitals will be the top two teams to qualify for the playoffs based on current form. While CSK have 18 points now, last year’s runners-up DC are sitting pretty with 16 points. Chopra is confident that Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will also qualify – RCB have 14 points with three games to go.
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For the fourth position, the 44-year-old picked his former IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), over the Mumbai Indians (MI). Both the teams have 10 points in 11 games, but Chopra has a ‘strong feeling’ that Eoin Morgan’s team will go through.
KKR are taking on Punjab Kings in an IPL 2021 on Friday (October 1) evening. In his YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “Chennai, Delhi there’s no doubt about that. Third, hopefully, Bangalore will qualify. For fourth, there’s going to be a fight between Mumbai and Kolkata. I have a strong feeling that if Kolkata doesn’t hit a self-goal, they’ll make it. If Russell is fit then there will be no self-goal but it can happen here because the captain is in zero form. However, it’s Eoin Morgan, a big player, so it’s also possible that he might turnaround his form and give a strong finish.”
About Rohit Sharma’s defending champions, the former opener stated that MI haven’t been as dominating as they had been for the past few seasons. Mumbai started off the UAE leg with three consecutive losses, but managed to end it with a win over Punjab Kings, which, for Chopra, still ‘wasn’t convincing’.
“I am tilting towards Kolkata for a simple reason that Mumbai isn’t looking like the ‘Paltan’ of the old. Yeah, you won against Punjab but even that wasn’t convincing. They are winning all games scrappingly, which isn’t like them,” Chopra said.
MI also have a tough opponent in DC next, while KKR face three teams who are below them in the points table. “They still have one game to go against Delhi which is the next game only in Sharjah. If you lose this, you won’t have luck on your side because Kolkata’s all matches are against teams placed below them. Kolkata have got something going for them, for Mumbai, there’s something not going for them,” Chopra explained.