Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had no hesitation in naming the side he will be cheering to win the IPL 2020, which starts on Saturday with Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi.
Sachin took the name of four-time champions Mumbai Indians and said there shouldn’t be any doubts about the franchise which he considers to be the favourites. (Also Read | Full coverage of IPL 2020)
“Of course the Men in Blue, are there any doubts? I’ve always been in blue everywhere. When Mumbai and Indians come together then it becomes Mumbai Indians,” Sachin told former India opener Aakash Chopra in a YouTube interview.
When Chopra added that Delhi Capitals look a balanced side and can pose a tough challenge to MI this season, Sachin said it will be a game of momentum as every side in the IPL are well-balanced.
“Every team is well balanced. This is one such format where a lot of things happen quickly. When batsmen start playing shot too early we tend to advise him to be a little watchful and when someone takes his time we want him to get on with it. It is going to be exciting. I feel it’s anyone’s game. So the team which has momentum, they have to make the most of it. It’s a 53-day tournament, the momentum comes and goes, there will be a lot of ups and downs,” he said.
Sachin who has played all his six seasons in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, was associated with the franchise as a mentor even till last season. But this year as the tournament has shifted out of India and into UAE due to Covid-19 concerns in India, Sachin is not with MI squad. But Tendulkar hasn’t ruled out the chance of him helping out MI players.
“No plans as of now. But later on if it fits in then I’ll definitely try,” Sachin said when asked about his plans to travel to UAE.
The former India and MI captain said it will be important to start well as that will allow the team and its players to have an uncluttered head going ahead in a long tournament like IPL.
“To a certain extent I’d say that (It’s important to start well). The first game is very important. Even in a Test series, it is the same here. So when the first game goes well, the team meetings become shorter. A less complicated makes you concentrate on what is happening at the opposite end because that is where the bowler will from. When there are too many things going around in your head, it’s difficult to concentrate. And that has a lot to do with what has happened in the last game. So it’s important to start well,” Sachin added.
In another video posted by the defending champions Mumbai Indians, Sachin opined on the tournament opener between IPL’s two most successful sides MI and CSK.
“Chris Lynn when it comes to those explosive starts, he is tremendous. Nathan Coulter-Nile swinging the ball upfront and then bowling those death overs also chipping in with his bat. All in all, I think the balance is really nice of course uh Mumbai Indians as a squad have always been good but it strengthened much more with these two inclusions,” Tendulkar said on a video posted by the official Twitter handle of Mumbai Indians.
“For any tournament to succeed you need rivalries. Mumbai Indians, as well as Chennai Super Kings, have a very very strong fan base. Both are extremely competitive. There have been occasions where you know Mumbai Indians were pushed badly in a corner and we’ve been able to pull through and win that game and the same thing has happened also with Chennai Super Kings. It makes that competition unpredictable and when there is an element of unpredictability people get glued to the television sets that is the beauty of any sport. But when it’s played at the highest level and so fiercely competitive people like to see that and this year also it’s not going to be any different,” he added.