Aakash Chopra, former India cricketer, expresses his belief that the Mumbai Indians will be a formidable team to contend with in the ongoing IPL 2023. However, he also warns against underestimating the Gujarat Titans, led by Hardik Pandya, as they have displayed remarkable consistency throughout the tournament. After their defeat to the Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, the defending champions are set to face the Mumbai Indians with the aim of securing a spot in the final for the second consecutive year.

Chopra shared his thoughts on his YouTube channel, saying, “Defeating Mumbai will not be an easy task. Gujarat is also a strong team. We should not underestimate Gujarat as they maintained their position at the top throughout the tournament. Once they reached the top, they remained there and qualified comfortably. There was no pressure on them to win the last match as the fate of others depended on their performance. So, I expect an exciting and evenly-matched encounter. It’s a 50-50 situation. Whoever performs better should emerge victorious, and that’s what matters. We can look forward to a thrilling match.”

The former cricketer also highlighted a captivating contest to watch out for, namely Mohammad Shami bowling to the Mumbai Indians’ opening batsmen. Reflecting on their previous encounter, Chopra remarked, “When these two teams last met, Shami bowled during the evening under lights but unfortunately, he didn’t manage to take a wicket. However, if you observed his spell closely, you would have realized that it was an exceptional performance, deserving of not just one or two wickets, but possibly four or five. The batters struggled to make contact with the ball, but it simply wasn’t Shami’s day as he remained wicketless. There was a catch in the end that Hardik Pandya dropped.”