Sunil Gavaskar picked Suryakumar Yadav as the key player for the Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of the Eliminator against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in Chennai on Wednesday, May 24.
Suryakumar has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 511 runs at an average of 42.58 and a strike rate of 185.14. He also smashed his first IPL century in a victory against the Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Wankhede Stadium on May 12.
Speaking to Star Sports ahead of the MI-LSG clash, Sunil Gavaskar said:
“SKY is outstanding. Look at the big stride he takes when it comes to playing such agricultural shots. However, he needs to plan his game better on slow and turning pitches. He’s going to be crucial for MI in the playoff games. Remember, the first couple of playoff games are going to be played on a slow Chennai track.”
Mumbai had a mediocre first half of the season, winning only three of their first seven games. However, they went on a rampage in the second half to finish with 16 points in 14 games. The five-time champions qualified for the IPL 2023 playoffs as the fourth team.
LSG, on the other hand, had a steady tournament throughout and finished with 17 points in 14 games.
The winner of the Eliminator will take on the Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2, while the loser will stand eliminated from the tournament.
Mumbai and Lucknow met once this season, with LSG pulling out a thriller by five runs at the Ekana Cricket Stadium on May 16.
“Chawla has taken half of the wickets that Mumbai have taken so far” – Mohammad Kaif praises MI spinner
Former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif praised Mumbai Indians’ leg-spinner Piyush Chawla for his exemplary performance throughout the season.
The 34-year-old has been a revelation in IPL 2023, picking up 20 wickets in 14 games at an average of 21.10 and an economy rate of 7.81 runs per over.
Speaking to Star Sports, Mohammad Kaif credited Chawla for his impact this season by saying:
“Chawla has taken half of the wickets that Mumbai has taken so far. This is a champion bowler. As if taking wickets on the very first ball in every match has become his habit. Chawla has proved that there is no substitute for experience. He has stability in his deliveries and has been impressive on all types of wickets. His impact this season has been solid.”
Chawla is fifth on the Purple Cap list this season and third in the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in IPL history. The seasoned cricketer has scalped 177 wickets and is only behind Yuzvendra Chahal and Dwayne Bravo.
With the Chennai pitch aiding the spinners, Mumbai Indians will hope Chawla continues his impressive run and leads them to victory against LSG.