On May 24 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the Eliminator of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 will feature a match between the five-time champions Mumbai Indians and the Krunal Pandya-led Lucknow Super Giants.
Despite a shaky start to the competition, Mumbai Indians quickly picked up the tempo, vastly improved their form, and ultimately advanced to the tournament’s knockout stages. The five-time champions will now face the Lucknow Super Giants in a challenging match.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra opined in his preview of the match that despite Mumbai’s status as the game’s favorite, the pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium could prove problematic for the five-time champions.
“If you do man-to-man marking, you will conclude that the scales are massively tipped in favor of Mumbai if the match is staged anywhere other than Chennai and Ekana, for the simple reason that Mumbai have the superior batting ability. This team will become stymied if the ball clings to the field even minimally, as Aakash Chopra explained in a YouTube video.
The greatest problem for Mumbai is not Lucknow: Chopra
In addition, Aakash Chopra reflected on the fact that, despite possessing powerful hitters, Mumbai’s greatest obstacle could be the pitch in Chennai.
“The batting order consists of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Nehal Wadhera/Tilak Varma, and Tim David. They strike frequently. Every game, they concede 200 runs but score the same amount. Aakash Chopra stated that Mumbai’s greatest problem is not Lucknow, but rather the playing field.
Mumbai would be eager to win the eliminator and the second qualifying match in order to move closer to a six-time championship. On the other hand, the Krunal Pandya-led Lucknow Super Giants would also be eager to join the IPL Winners List. Notably, the victors of the Eliminator will advance to the second qualifying round, where they will face Gujarat Titans on May 26.