Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels that defending champions Mumbai Indians will have an advantage playing in the UAE when the second phase of the IPL 2021 begins from September 19.
“They’ve played in conditions that are completely different to where they normally play in. When you see the conditions in Chepauk or Delhi, they are completely different from what you get at Wankhede. And as I mentioned, they are going into conditions that are suited to their fast bowling – people like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult,” former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gambhir said on the broadcasters’ show ‘Game Plan.’
“There will be swing upfront, so they will be very dangerous. Plus, Mumbai wants balls to swing and you’ve got quality fast bowlers and it’s going to be an advantage for them. Plus their batters want the balls to come on to the bat as well, people like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, all those guys struggled at Chepauk, because it was gripping and turning.
“They are not going to struggle, once they start playing in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. So, that’s the reason why I would feel Mumbai Indians will have an advantage; they can’t afford being slow starter anymore, because they have seven games to go and they might have to win 5 matches to qualify, so they can’t afford to be in that situation, where they have to win five out of five,” he added.
Mumbai Indians will kickstart IPL 2021 with three-time champions Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Stadium on September 19.