The 14th Indian T20 League season gets underway on Friday, April 9 with defending champions Mumbai taking on Bangalore at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Also in action this matchweek are the other six teams in Chennai, Delhi, Rajasthan, Kolkata, Punjab and Hyderabad. SportsAdda ambassador Brett Lee gives us his predictions in episode 1 of SportsAdda presents T20 Crazy, powered by Sportsbet.io.
Mumbai to win against Bangalore
“I have to go with Mumbai, just because of their form and their record (against Bangalore. I know I am going against the odds of what has happened recently but I think Mumbai will start off with with a win,” Lee says
Five-time winners Mumbai have a terrible record with opening games of an Indian T20 League. They have won just two of the seven matches they played as a season opener, but Binga believes they can turn it around by starting out with a positive result.
Rishabh Pant, the top scorer in Chennai vs Delhi
“He (Rishabh Pant) is on top of his game right now. He’s got the leadership qualities and I think he’ll go out there and have a huge game,” Lee said, who added on by stating that Rishabh Pant is the future of Indian cricket.
Rishabh Pant’s exploits for Delhi need no mention, as he has stacked up 2079 runs in just 68 matches. While his tenacity behind the stumps is questioned at times, Pant has often silenced his critics with powerful performances - such as the 27-ball 78* against Mumbai in Delhi’s first game of the 2019 edition.
Jos Buttler won’t score a 50 against Punjab
“I don’t think he will (score a 50) in the first game but definitely will throughout the tournament.”
“He (Buttler) is a great player and a powerful hitter. He may not be in the same category as someone like Andre Russell but he is very nifty, and works the ball around,” Lee said of the English wicketkeeper-batsman.
Following the departure of Steve Smith to Delhi, the onus of Rajasthan’s batting will rest on the shoulders of Jos Buttler. The 30-year-old, who scored 328 runs last season, has the best strike rate by a Rajasthan batter in the Indian T20 League - 149.56 - and is someone to keep an eye on as a contender for the Orange Cap this year.
Mumbai to hit maximum sixes against Kolkata
“Well, I think you could easily say Kolkata because of Dre Russ but I think consistently, it has got to be Mumbai. Mumbai have got some power-hitters too, Mumbai will hit more sixes in this game in my opinion,” Lee said.
One glance at the team roster of Mumbai, and it is quite clear that no other team houses raw firepower in the ranks than the two-time defending champions. While Rohit Sharma has smashed 213 sixes, West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard is two sixes away from entering the 200 sixes club.
Hyderabad will be the better bowling team against Bangalore
“I think when you playing in Chennai against Bangalore in terms of Hyderabad, T Natarajan and Rashid Khan will dominate this kind of a tournament and could sit well on this wicket. So, I’m gonna go with Hyderabad will take more wickets and be the better bowling team,” Lee said.
Hyderabad’s bowling attack, led by Afghanistan star Rashid Khan, is expected to spell trouble for Bangalore’s batting unit. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar has 14 wickets in 13 clashes against Virat Kohli and Co., Rashid (eight wickets in nine matches) and T Natarajan (four wickets in three games) are likely to have a bigger say in the 2021 edition for the 2016 winners.
To know more about SportsAdda ambassador Brett Lee’s take on week 1 of Indian T20 League 2021, click here.
Feature image courtesy: SportsAdda